MOVING WITH CHILDREN



Trying to break the news to your children about moving the family? Many of us too are mothers and fathers and would like to help you consider the feelings of those in your family on which the move makes a HUGE impact.

There is a lot to do when planning a move, but keeping your children involved is key. Here is checklist for parents to follow, so that the children don't get lost in the shuffle.

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TELLING THE CHILDREN
  • Generate some conversation about your new home and area by asking your children what they already know. Parents can provide maps, books, information from the Internet and MORE! This is a fun way to get everyone excited about the change.
  • Provide your children with an address book so that they can keep track of family members and friends that they may want to keep in contact with.
  • Throw a "Going Away" party and invite all of your children's friends and classmates.
  • Spend time visiting some of your children's favourite places to go like the library, park, swimming pool, etc.
  • Create a blueprint of each child's new room and allow them to design the layout of their furniture and personal belongings. Laying out the new room in a similar fashion will help them adapt quicker.
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PACKING
 
Preparing to move is an excellent time to sort through things that could be donated to charity or turned into cash. You may want to have your children (as well as parents) separate their things in four specific categories:
  • Things you want to take with you to your new home
  • Things you want to toss in the garbage
  • Things you would like to donate to charity
  • Things for a garage sale
These are some charities that I have worked with and know to be in need as well as good stewards of everything they receive.

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GENERAL
  • Create a checklist so that your child(ren) can feel a sense of accomplishment when they have completed a certain task.
  • Have your child(ren) design a label or sticker that can be used to differentiate their items from the rest of the families. This will give them a sense of importance.
  • The first night in a house is always a little scary for everyone. It is important to make sure that there are some familiar things each child has in their possession: a blanket, favourite pyjamas or special toy - just to name a few.
  • Make sure there are plenty of activities, such as travel games, books, CDs and DVDs for the trip.
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SETTLING IN
  • It is important to go over your new address with your child(ren). Try to have them memorize it as soon as possible.
  • Your child's room is their personal haven and should be designed to their specifications with their furniture and belongings. This is where the blueprint of their new room (that they designed) comes in handy!
  • It is important to get outside and tour the neighbourhood or take a drive and visit some new places around the community.
  • Have your children start a list about what they like about their:
    • Home
    • School
    • Neighbourhood
    • Community
    • Church
    • Friends
    • Teachers
  • Help them stay connected with old friends, through Facebook, writing letters, sending postcards or even sending photos of the new home etc. Let them E-mail old friends and neighbours to let them know about your new home and community.
  • Step up on quality family time for a while – even if it means a bit of sacrifice. They will appreciate it and it will assist in their sense of security.
  • Take them if possible, on a visit to your new workplace. Let them feel part of the bigger picture.
  • Kick start a new hobby for them or get them really involved in an old one. Anything to keep their minds active with pleasant thoughts while they adjust.
  • If you have plans to re-decorate or renovate the new home, get them involved. Ask their opinion.
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