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Sooner or later, many families face the prospect of moving. Disruptive as moving can be for parents, the experience can be even more traumatic for kids, who may not be a part of the decision to move and might not understand it.

Kids can need some time and special attention during the transition. Try these tips to make the process less stressful for everyone.

Making the Decision to Move

Many kids thrive on familiarity and routine. So as you consider a move, weigh the benefits of that change against the comfort that established surroundings, school, and social life give your kids.

The decision to move may be out of your hands, perhaps due to a job transfer or financial issues. Even if you're not happy about the move, try to maintain a positive attitude about it. During times of transition, a parent's moods and attitudes can greatly affect kids, who may be looking for reassurance.

Discussing the Move With Kids

No matter what the circumstances, the most important way to prepare kids to move is to talk about it. Try to give them as much information about the move as soon as possible. Answer questions completely and truthfully, and be receptive to both positive and negative reactions. Even if the move means an improvement in family life, kids don't always understand that and may be focused on the frightening aspects of the change.


Involving kids in the planning as much as possible makes them feel like participants in the house-hunting process or the search for a new school. This can make the change feel less like it's being forced on them.

If you're moving across town, try to take your kids to visit the new house (or see it being built) and explore the new neighborhood. For distant moves, provide as much information as you can about the new home, city, and province (or country). Access the Internet to learn about the community. Learn where kids can participate in favorite activities. See if a relative, friend, or even a real estate agent can take pictures of the new house and new school for your child.

 

Moving With Toddlers and Preschoolers

Kids younger than 6 may be the easiest to move, as they have a limited capacity to understand the changes involved. Still, your guidance is crucial.

Here are ways to ease the transition for young kids:

  • Keep explanations clear and simple.
  • Use a story to explain the move, or use toy trucks and furniture to act it out.
  • When you pack your toddler's toys in boxes, make sure to explain that you aren't throwing them away.
  • If your new home is nearby and vacant, go there to visit before the move and take a few toys over each time.
  • Hold off on getting rid of your child's old bedroom furniture, which may provide a sense of comfort in the new house. It might even be a good idea to arrange furniture in a similar way in the new bedroom.
  • Avoid making other big changes during the move, like toilet training or advancing a toddler to a bed from a crib.
  • Arrange for your toddler or preschooler to stay with a babysitter on moving day.

Moving With School-Age Kids

Kids in elementary school may be relatively open to a move, but still need serious consideration and help throughout the transition.

There are two schools of thought about "the right time to move." Some experts say that summer is the best time because it avoids disrupting the school year. Others say that midyear is better because a child can meet other kids right away.


To avoid glitches that would add stress, gather any information the new school will need to process the transfer. That may include the most recent report card or transcript, birth certificate, and medical records.

 

Moving With Teens

It's common for teens to actively rebel against a move. Your teen has probably invested considerable energy in a particular social group and might be involved in a romantic relationship. A move may mean that your teen will miss a long-awaited event, like a prom.


It's particularly important to let teens know that you want to hear their concerns and that you respect them. While blanket assurances may sound dismissive, it's legitimate to suggest that the move can serve as rehearsal for future changes, like college or a new job. However, also be sure to let them know that you hear their concerns.


After the move, consider planning a visit back to the old neighborhood, if it's feasible. Also, see if if the teen can return for events like prom or graduation events. If you're moving midway through a school year, you might want to consider letting an older teen stay in the old location with a friend or relative, if that's an option.

After Moving Day

After the move, try to get your child's room in order before turning your attention to the rest of the house. Also, try to maintain your regular schedule for meals and bedtime to give kids a sense of familiarity.

When your child does start school, you may want to go along to meet as many teachers as possible or to introduce your child to the principal.

Set realistic expectations about the transition. Generally, teachers expect new kids to feel somewhat comfortable in their classes in about 6 weeks. Some kids need less time; others might need more.

After the move, if you're still concerned about your child's transition, a family therapist might provide some helpful guidance.

A move can present many challenges, but good things also come from this kind of change. Your family might grow closer and you may learn more about each other by going through it together.


Source: www.kidshealth.org

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Moving day is never simple, but it can be more bearable and even somewhat enjoyable! To figure out how to make the big move as stress-free as possible, here are 15 ideas that may make your big day a bit more of a breeze.

  1. Don't bring anything you don't need:  If you need to sell or give away any of your things, have a good-bye party and put post-it notes on the things that the guests can take home with them. It's a nice way to say good-bye and a lot better than posting things on Craigslist and having to deal with strangers.
  2. Do all of your packing/labeling before moving day. There are so many details you need to handle on moving day, don't make it worse by having to rush to do these things you know you'll have to do.
  3. Make yourself a survival kit for moving day. Pack a baggie with things you'll need on that day and possibly the next — toothbrush and toothpaste, snacks, change of clothes, medication, contact lens supplies, etc. 
  4. Tell your neighbors you are moving. This way they can avoid the elevators and/or use the stairs on that day, staying out of the movers' way.
  5. Try to make sure that no one else is moving in or out on the same day as you are. The fact that sharing elevators and hallways slows everything down and increases the risk of losing stuff. 
  6. Have lots of bottles of water for your movers. Offering the movers some snacks like candy bars or chips to keep their energy up and make sure that the vibe between you and them is positive. 
  7. Make sure all your electronic devices are fully charged—especially your cell phone. Don't pack your chargers away, have them with you in case things take longer than expected.
  8. Buy some touch-up paint and wall filler ahead of time. This way you can make quick repair for any minor damage caused by the movers on the way out. Have a broom and dustpan handy so you can sweep up at the end of the loading phase.
  9. Have some basic tools—screw driver, allen wrench, box cutter –for breaking down boxes, putting furniture together. Your mover should have it all but just in case, this can be a big help.
  10. Do a quick walk through with the movers before getting started. You'll want to inspect your furniture to make sure the inventory sheet is correct. Also, be sure that you and the movers agree on the condition of the furniture before anything goes on to the truck. 
  11. Keep some extra packing materials on hand. This way you don't have to buy them from the mover at the last minute when you've lost all negotiating juice.
  12. Keep pets/kids away from the movers. In fact, it's better to have your kids out of the home on moving day. Let them come in to an unpacked house and a set-up their new room later on. You need to be totally and completely available to the movers during each step of the process, no distractions. 
  13. Consider spreading the move out over two days. If your move is local and the home you're moving from is large, it would be great to move the kitchen, living room and dining room one day and the bedrooms and other spaces the next.
  14. Choose your “helpers” carefully. It's tempting to ask friends and family for help, but don't overdo it. Recruit volunteers who know their way around your place so you won't have to waste time answering their questions.
  15. Learn as much about the place you are moving to as you can. Often the most stressful part of the move is at the “unknown” destination. Ask your Realtor or building manager about moving-in or out rules, and know the dimensions of the door openings so that your favorite sofa makes it into your next home.

Good luck on the big move coming up soon!

 

Darin

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1. Ensure you harness or crate your dog properly for the car trip — on moving day and every day. 


2. To help maintain your dog’s sense of security in his day-to-day routine, try to gradually move forward with your moving plans by packing boxes and storing household items weeks ahead of time. This is far better than waiting until the last minute, which may tend to confuse your dog.


3. Be sure to have an appropriate ID tag attached to his collar with the current address and phone number, as dogs sometimes become disoriented during a move and try to dart away.


4. If you have to travel a long distance to your new home and run the chance of making an overnight stay at a hotel/motel, plan ahead of time for a pet-friendly establishment. This will save you a lot of stress from trying to find a suitable hotel in the middle of the night. 


5. On moving day, it may be wise to tuck your dog into a room of his own with food and water and only disturb him for bathroom breaks. Keeping him away from the confusion will help prevent disorientation and stress.


6. If you happen to be flying to your new destination, it should go without saying that choosing a pet-friendly airline is of utmost importance. Plan ahead of time with a suitable airline and do not be shy about asking questions as it pertains to dog travel and whether or not he is small enough to be carried on board with you. If the airline makes you feel uncomfortable as you ask questions, choose another carrier.


7. Just as it is wise to keep your dog in a quiet, closed-off room in the old house on moving day, the same rule should apply in the new house when you and the rest of your family arrive.


8. When you arrive at your new home, unpack your dog’s belongings as soon as you get there. These items would include his bedding, food and water bowls, and dog toys. This will help your dog adjust as quickly as possible to his new surroundings by having familiar items around him.


9. Moving creates security issues for dogs and other pets alike. Pay attention to potentially dangerous items as you unpack. Electrical cords, small objects, pantyhose and plants are just some of the items that could end up in your dog’s mouth.


10. Check the new house for possible places from which your dog may escape. Loose screens, holes in fences, and half-shut doors will enable your dog to escape and may result in him getting injured or lost in the new area.

 

Now that you have arrived in your new town, it’s time to find a veterinarian. Finding a groomer is also a good idea. And should you have to leave your dog alone during trips or when at work, look into a pet sitting service that can help your dog adjust in the new home until he is ready to be alone.

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