David Letterman may be the King of the Top 10 but here’s our Top 10 List to assist you in helping your children with the challenges they face when moving.
10. Buy a blank journal as a moving journal. Your child can write friends’ addresses in the book, favorite memories or hangouts, and thoughts and feelings. Friends can write special memories as well to help when lonely feelings hit.
9. Have a going away party. Getting everyone together for one last hurrah can help provide some closure.
8. Have a welcome home party in your new home. Have as many familiar people as possible at the party. If that’s not possible, serve familiar foods. Popular brand names are everywhere. Serve your child’s favorite fast food feast to bring an air of familiarity.
7. If possible, bring your family to visit your new home before you move in. Let your kids pick out their rooms and engage them in planning how they’re going to decorate. If you can’t visit the new home, take pictures or video (or ask your REALTOR® to take pictures for you) and have a virtual tour with your family. Pop some popcorn and make an event of it.
6. Get as much information about the community and schools your kids will be attending – pictures, mascots, team records, etc.
5. Schedule a tour of the school before your child(ren)’s first day of school. Allow them to visit and walk around before they face the stress of their first day as the “new kid.” Ask the school if there is an “ambassador” who can show your child around and give them the inside “kid scoop.”
4. Give your kids time to say good-bye and to grieve. While the move may be a great opportunity for you, your kids will see it primarily in terms of loss.
3. Keep to your routines as much as possible. A lot of stress comes from the newness of things. Keeping to the same family routines and patterns help make the transition a little less scary.
2. Utilize your resources. Visit your library or search the internet to find multimedia resources that help you and your child deal with the stress of moving. Contact your local participating REALTOR® for more information about the Moving Families Initiative.
1. Communicate, communicate, communicate – Talk early and often about moving. Allow children to express all their emotions freely (yet respectfully) and convey empathy. Chances are moving was not their first choice and while the decision is most likely non-negotiable, respect their right to agree to disagree.
For more information about the Moving Families Initiative, please visit www.movingfamiliesinitiative.com.