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Preparing Children to Move

There is no easy way to really move a family, as on a whole this is an extremely disruptive time especially if there are ties to the community already made, such as school and friends. No matter how much you think you have prepared your children, expect the unexpected. Based on this foreknowledge, you need to look at your children as part of your moving preparations.

Your children need to have particularly special attention paid to them to help them move through the transition to a new home all that much smoother. This produces less stress for everyone involved in the move. There are a few transitional steps that you can prepare for and take when moving your children.

Making the Moving Decision

This, above all, is the primary step in any move and there are a lot of factors involved in this important first step. Much like you are accustomed to your daily routine, so are your children. Some children will revert inward if the move veers too much off of their routine. It is important to look at the entire move as a whole entity. This means that you need to take into consideration many of the daily things you do and how they would affect those involved. For instance, will moving the children from their current school to another school benefit your children, especially if they have established close ties to friends, their teacher and the school in general. The older your children are, the more established your children will be.

If you've gone through an extreme emotional situation, like a family death or a divorce, it would be a strong recommendation to avoid the move for the moment as children do not bounce back from these situations as quickly as adults do. But, there are other situations that inevitably cannot be avoided for moving such as a job transfer or maybe you have fallen on financial distress.

Now that you've mentally prepared the children to move through this initial stage, now you actually have to discuss the move with your children.

Discussion

If you've looked at all the pros and cons of moving and you know that your particular situation is going to be difficult to go ahead with in any case, it is important that you discuss your moving plans as early a feasibly possible with your children. This is extremely important for younger children as they may simply not understand why they have to move away from their house and friends.

Prepare yourself for a rash of questions about the move that you will have to field and, more importantly, talk at their level of understanding. Simply put, picture yourself in their shoes. Always answer all questions posed to you with great candour and never minimalize your child's feelings or concerns.

When you've reached the stage that you feel your children are now a little more at ease with the plans to move, there will still be questions, but these questions may in fact be more directed at what kind of new house they will be moving into and the type of school they may go to. If your move is a short distance and your children simply do not wish to leave their school and friends, enquire at the school if your children can still attend the school based on your new house address. This may make your children even more at ease and, perhaps, they will welcome moving into a new house knowing they will still be able to see their current friends while at school.

Involve your children in all steps of planning the move as their input into finding a new house (if you're not already purchased a new one and sold your current house) by going through the house-hunting stage. They will feel that their input was extremely important in purchasing a new house and you will find your children will be ready for the move away.

If you are moving to another country altogether, gather all the information that you can about this new place including schools and activities they can participate in. If you can visit with your children, try and do this.