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Helping Children Transition
Professional advice on transitioning your children into their new home
Moving can be an exciting time for your family. However, it can also be a sad and stressful time. Your child may have different feelings about your family’s move: scared about going to a new school, excited about your new home, sad about leaving old friends or angry with you about moving.
As a parent, there are several things you can do to support your child through this tough time.
The checklist below is provided by Jennine L. Moritz, Ph.D. & Ann V. Deaton, Ph.D. of Coping Kids, to remind you of some of the important things to do before and after a move (and tips on what to do to help your child cope with this life event). Remember, if you are going to be available to help your child, it is also important to support yourself during this move.
Before the Move:
  • Tell older, school-age children about the move several months in advance, if possible.
  • Share information about your new home, town and state with your child. Give him/her brochures and postcards. Create a fun project that offers information about the new place (e.g., make a map or draw pictures of the new house).
  • Get information about the new place. Gather information from the local Chamber of Commerce, Welcome Wagon and Board of Realtors.
  • Request that your child’s school records be sent to his/her new school. Obtain medical and dental records for you and your children.
  • Plan a goodbye/moving party for your child. Involve her in the planning. Help her get addresses and phone numbers of friends and family they will be leaving.
  • When possible, take your child to see his/her new town, house and neighborhood.
  • Visit your child’s future school. Schedule time to meet the principal and some of the teachers and future classmates ahead of time.
  • Pack some of your child’s essentials for the trip: toiletry items, snacks, games, pillows and special comfort items.
After the Move:
  • Listen to your child’s feelings (sad, scared, excited) about the move and offer extra support.
  • Discuss extracurricular options with your child and sign up for some activities such as piano lessons, gymnastics, Girl/Boy Scouts, sports, clubs at schools, library programs.
  • Take your child to enroll in his/her new school and meet teachers and classmates.
  • Make some exploratory trips into the community with your child such as visiting neighborhood parks, nearby restaurants or a skating rink.
  • Help your child decorate his/her room making it a special place in your new home.
  • Help your child take pictures of your new home to send to friends and relatives.
  • Encourage your child to call or write friends and family to let them know about the new place.
  • Get to know some of the other parents and find out about their activities and their children’s interests.
Editorial provided by Children’s World Learning Centers, a leading provider of quality infant, toddler, preschool, pre-kindergarten and school-age learning programs in the United States.
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