7 Steps to Helping Children Make a Successful Move

We have all seen movies where a family moves across country and their children have a hard time making new friends. There is no doubt moving is hard, but it can be particularly hard on children.

Paul and I have moved 12 times with the military. Each move was an adjustment for our family. However, today our two oldest are well-adjusted adults and all three of our kids are very good at making new friends.

This post will cover 7 steps to helping kids make a successful move. Here are a few things we have learned to make the moving easier on children:

1. Make the children part of the move.

Do this without overwhelming them with logistics and details. Being part of the action will help them feel like they have some control over the process. For example, before the actual move ask for expectations and ideas from your children. Have them create a plan to pack up their own items if they are old enough for that responsibility.

2. Plan plenty of time for the move.

Allowing plenty of time for the move helps the family work through the physical and emotional strain of moving as well as creating ample quality time for your children. Also, consider planning breaks in the moving process to have fun and reconnect as a family. Make time for the children to properly say goodbye to their friends.

3. Plan for proper closure.

Celebrate your time in that community by having a send-off party with close neighbors and friends.

4. Help your children to understand that they are not losing friends, but they are adding to their circle of friends.

In this electronically connected world, it is easy to stay in contact with friends through social media, texting or Facetime/Skype for a lifetime. The relationship may fade with time as your children develop new relationships, but your children will know they have a growing circle of friends.

5. Help your children get involved in the new community and school.

Find social or sport clubs that your children would like to join. Help them to see that it may take a while to find their place, and that it is perfectly normal. Point out that this is their opportunity to meet new people and find their place.

6. Proactively cultivate relationships.

Have your own welcome to the neighborhood party. Invite your new neighbors over for a cookout or dinner to get to know them.

7. Be there for your children.

This is a busy and stressful time for parents and children are often overwhelmed by the process. Find a consistent time, whether nightly before bed, over breakfast or a weekly date night to emotionally check-in with your children to evaluate how they are doing. Keep the communication lines open, honest and loving.

Let your children know that wherever you live they are your first priority. Think about what make them feel like they are first priority and work those two or three things into your daily or weekly schedule.

We want to hear from you!

What have you found helped you and your children make a move across town or across county?

If you have any questions about the moving process, we would love to help! Please contact Dianna Howell with The Howell Group at 205-568-5435 or email her at dianna.howell@kw.com

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