Kids and Moving
Young children can be very reluctant to move. Their whole lives might have been spent in the house you've lived in for only a few years. Make the move as easy as possible for them.
- Familiarize your children with their new home, neighborhood and school as much as possible prior to the move. Emphasize all the parks, playgrounds and fun features to which they will have access. (Now it's your turn to be the Realtor!)
- If you are moving a long distance, you should detach your children from their friends as gently as possible. Throw a good-bye party and distribute your new address to the other kids' parents so that they can correspond.
- Let your children pack and decorate a special box of their own.
- During the move, make it as fun as possible by sightseeing along the way, taking pictures and buying souvenirs.
- After the move, plan special activities that celebrate your new home and neighborhood, e.g., taking them to their favorite restaurants, throwing a housewarming party, starting a scrapbook called Our New Home, etc.
- Encourage your children to write letters to their old friends, but at the same time encourage them to invite new friends over.
- Enroll your kids in the same sports, clubs and activities that they were involved in before the move.
Children's Literature for a Happy Move
by Carla Hill
Moving can be an exciting time in any family's life, but it can also be a time of worry and uncertainty for the smallest members of your brood. To make the transition a bit easier on everyone, here are a few popular children's books to read with your little ones.
The ever popular Berenstain Bears series has a book entitled, "Moving Day" (Random House). This 32 page book follows the Bears as they make a move to a home with better soil for their farm. "This is the story of the Bear family's move to their now-famous tree house in Bear Country. Would Brother Bear like it? Would he find new friends? He wasn't sure until he got there." (Amazon)
Children can have a difficult time having their routines interrupted. And young children may have a hard time understanding where their toys are going, and if they'll ever see them again. As parents, its a hard, but important job to make the transition of moving easy. These books may help to open a dialogue with young children.
To open up conversation with your preschooler, consider "Moving House" by Anne Civardi (Usborne Books). One parental review says, "This book is great to make moving to a new house, school, or city easier. It isn't one that we read again and again, but it did give a great opening for conversations of topics related to the move. It is one that I will share with friends when moving."
Another preschool geared book is "We're Moving" by Heather Maisner (Kingfisher). This charming book leads the child gently through the concept of moving and change. It's part of the publisher's "First-Time series" designed to deal with new situations.
The American Library Association writes, "Amy, a preschooler, doesn't want to move. She waves good-bye to her best friend and to the garden she planted with her dad. Her little brother is excited about the new house, but Amy is lonely and confused. Then, gradually, she begins to feel better. Her room is put in order, she starts a new garden with Dad, and, of course, she makes new friends. The realistic detail in words and sweet, watercolor-washed artwork will encourage kids to talk about the scary upheaval, and about their mixed-up feelings when they have to leave the familiar and find a new home."
Receiving a 5 star review on Amazon.com, "I'm Not Moving, Mama," by Nancy White Carlstrom (Aladdin Publishing), is the story of a little mouse who refuses to leave his room on moving day. Publishers Weekly says, "Children anxious about relocating will be comforted by Mama Mouse's calm and cheerful attitude toward his misgivings."
School Library Journal writes, "Carlstrom's text is perfectly paced ... illustrations are calming and inventive ... especially rewarding."
And finally, for your own reading, check out Lori Collins Burgan's "Moving with Kids: 25 Ways to Ease Your Family's Transition to a New Home". Library Journal writes of the work, "A no-nonsense, compassionate guide to helping children deal with the stress, trauma, and potential excitement of relocating...there are no other comparable titles in print. Easy to read and eminently useful, this is the ideal parents' helper when faced with a move across town or across the world."
Be sure to check your local library or neighborhood bookstore for any of these great pieces of children's literature. And best of luck with your move!
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