Help Your Kids Move On

Moving to another home is always stressful, regardless of whether or not you have children. The transition can be tough on the whole family, and kids might take a move pretty hard, depending on their age. The decision to make a move might not be an option, depending on your work or lifestyle situation, but if it is negotiable, then there are a few questions you must ask yourself before moving. If your family has recently dealt with a major life change, like a death in the family or divorce, then you might want to postpone the move until the kids have settled into their new lifestyle. If your family must move, then try to incorporate kids into the decisions you make, including them when you look at new homes, new schools, etc. For a move that's far away, gather as much information as you can about the new neighborhood, school, city and activities in the area and share it with your children. Find opportunities for your kids to partake of activities they already enjoy in the new area. If the new home is nearby, then explore the new neighborhood and allow kids to see the progress of a new home being built, if that's the case.

Kids who haven't begun elementary school are probably the easiest to move, but they still need guidance and help in the transition. Explain while toys are being packed away that they will see them again; if possible, take toys to the new home, a few at a time, and allow the child to get acclimated to the new surroundings gradually. School-age kids may be OK with moving but still may need help and time to adjust. Make transferring schools easier by keeping documents needed to register - birth certificates, immunization records, etc. - accessible and in a safe place during the move. Teenagers may have the most difficult time with a move - they tend to have firmly established peer groups and romantic relationships, in some cases, that can be traumatic to leave. Consider planning visits back to the old neighborhood, if possible, plus listen to and validate teens' concerns about the move. Try to set up kids' rooms first to establish their own space, and try to keep meal and bedtimes regular post-move.