How do you smooth the move for school-age kids?
Prospective transferees with young children have a real dilemma. A work-related move may mean new professional opportunities for the relocating employee. A transfer may even mean more money to spend on family needs. But adults can sit down and weigh the pros and cons of such a move. Younger children cant.
Young children simply dont have the tools necessary for such a calm and reasoned approach. Add their feelings of helplessness this is, after all, not their decision to make and many relocating families find the hardest part of making a move is soothing the worries of the little ones.
Consider the following preparation tips when youre faced with moving pre-teen children.
To Minimize The Sadness Over Losing Old Friends:
- Create a photo album.
Have the kids make a photo album of favorite people and places. Take them on a photo safari to snap pictures of old schools they have attended, favorite teacher(s), best friends, favorite parks or playgrounds and any other things that a child might miss.
- Share a show and tell.
Ask a teacher to schedule a little time for the departing kids to talk to their classmates. Your kids can describe the place where theyre moving and share what they have learned about their new and exciting hometown.
- Make your own time capsule.
Let the kids pack up a time capsule. Choose a special box and have the kids fill it with things that will remind them of the old place.
To Reduce The Fear Of Moving To An Unknown Place:
- Plan a new town trip.
Take the kids on an orientation trip to the new hometown. Show them their new house, if possible. Tour the new school and chat with a teacher or two.
- Gather info, info, info.
Gather and share as many pictures and books about the new area as you can find. What are the local historic attractions of the new hometown? Wheres the local zoo? The local amusement park? What is the area known for?
- Remember that talking is golden.
Spend time reassuring your kids the change will be exciting and good. Have them discuss their fears and share with them ideas for getting along in the new hometown. Help them understand great new friends await, new adventures beckon.
Remember thousands of families with school-age children go through these relocation blues every year. By remembering the lessons learned by those who have gone before, by focusing on pre-move preparation, families, companies and schools can come together to make a move a stress-free and positive experience for everyone especially the kids.
And also remember that we've helped families with school-age children make their moves happy moves. Call or e-mail us to get started.