Moving to a new home or neighborhood can be especially stressful for any of us, but even more so for children.
When most of us think about moving, the things that immediately come to mind are the stresses of packing, learning a new route to work and getting a new home prepared. Just think about how hard a move is on children, who face making new friends or going to a new school.
Indeed, research has shown that moving is one of the most stressful events in anyone’s life – something that is especially true for children. To help make this process as easy as possible, the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) is offering families useful tips to help kids adjust before, during and after a family relocates:
* Include children in making plans for the move. For example, take them house-hunting with you.
* Help your child learn about the new area.
* Let kids help decide how their new rooms are to be arranged and decorated.
* Encourage children to exchange addresses and phone numbers with their friends.
* Through play-acting with dolls, boxes and a wagon, young children can simulate “moving.”
* For each child, prepare a package containing snacks, some clothing and a few favorite toys for the move.
* Take a “family break” as soon as the major unpacking is done. Don’t try to do everything when you arrive.
* Parents should spend time after the move listening to each child about new schools and new friends.
* Follow progress in new schools. Accompanying your child to school the first few days may ease tension.
* Any lingering abnormalities (loss of appetite, insomnia, constipation, diarrhea, menstrual disorder) should be reported to a doctor.
* If your move involves suburban to rural, or vice versa, caution children about new situations they will face.
Additional practical, objective tips on how to plan a move and safely choose a mover, including a countdown-to-moving-day calendar checklist, are available at AMSA’s noncommercial Web site, www.moving.org .
The U.S. Department of Transportation also offers advice on moving, including how to avoid rogue movers, at its moving Web site, www.protectyourmove.gov.