Smart Move

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Relocating is tough. Relocating with a family is even tougher. Make it smooth with these tips.

Moving can be exciting (think about all the new opportunities await you; everyone likes a fresh start), and stressful because you’re saying goodbye to a place and friends you’ve known for a while…and as they say, goodbye is a sad word. For children, it is even tougher.

They are leaving behind familiar places and friends and haven’t developed the emotional maturity to handle the stress of geographic moves yet. Moving has been shown to cause mental health problems in children (especially children in military families as they’re always relocating). Frequent moves can also cause behavioural and attention problems in children. That is why it is important to prepare them for the move.

Talk About It

Before making the move, talk to your family about it. Your children will have questions (and maybe tears) – answer them honestly. Don’t let them learn about it on the day of the moving or worse, from someone else. Children can always tell when something fishy is going on, and when you keep them out of the loop, as earlier mentioned, it will make it hard for them to trust you.

Involve Them

Keep them in the loop and involve them as much as you can. They can help with creating inventories, packing and even house hunting. Although they don’t necessarily have a say on whether the family should move or not, giving them control in other aspects will make them feel like they’re active participants in the process, making them more receptive to change.

Hold A Party

To move on a positive foot, Martha Poage writes in her book, ‘throw a party’,further advising that it should ideally be set on a date when everyone can attend. Be sure to involve the children – let them invite all their friends and if possible, let them have their own parties on a different day. Poage adds that to better prepare children for the move, “Photograph them at their favourite places…Ask your children to say good-bye to these special spots and to their friends.”

Don’t Discard Familiar Items

In your new home, everything will feel new, and this is not necessarily a good thing, especially with small children who need a sense of familiarity and routine to settle in smoothly in new environments. Have them pick their favourite items from the old home that will furnish their rooms to create that familiarity.

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