Children need routine and stability. Here are some ways to prepare them for moving. |
When a family decides to pull up roots in their current community and relocate to another, they’ll need to help the kids cope with moving. Children are full of verve and joy but they also thrive on stability and routine. A bit of TLC and planning can make the process of relocation an adventure for the family rather than a traumatic event. Here are some tips for nurturing offspring through a move:
- Involve them in the process: Moving to another state or city? Don’t just leave little Jane and Joe with Grandma while you travel to the new locale and handle all of the details. Bring them along for at least one trip to show them the sights and explore their new digs. Seeing the cool parks, zoos and school they’ll be attending will give them a visual representation of their new home base. Having an idea of what the future holds will bring a sense of comfort and security.
- Choosing their own rooms: When a house or apartment has been decided upon, let Junior choose the room which will be his. When he goes back to pack his toys or electric guitar, he will be thinking about where to unpack it within his new space.
- Keeping some routines: Even while driving the U-Haul across the country and sleeping in hotels, a family can still keep some routines intact in order to provide soothing consistency. The nightly bedtime story, the chats around the dinner table discussing the best parts of the day, a bath complete with familiar plastic ducky, and the daily scoop of ice cream following dinner can all be done while traveling on the road.
- Letters, emails and postcards: Purchase a selection of writing materials for corresponding with the ones they left behind. Sending a postcard or letter to their schoolmates or best friends will help them feel connected to the old as they move toward establishing the new. Tapping out virtual notes on the family laptop will be a great way to stay connected, too.
- Photos: Buy disposable cameras so that each child can click away during the move. The kids can photograph all the people and objects that they’re leaving behind, the travel adventure and the new place when they arrive in order to print pics to send to their friends back at the old home.
- Scrapbook: Buy each child a travel scrapbook and some tacky glue so that they can collect items during the move to insert. They will end up with their own personal travelogue. Photos, pressed flowers and the paper menu from that yummy truck-stop diner all will be fun to look at and reflect on through the years.
Moving can be a fun milestone is a child’s life with a bit of parental intervention and care.
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