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Moving with Children

Feb. 9, 2005: Moving with Children: Moving from one area to another can be a stressful experience. Everything is new and strange. Moves can be especially hard on children, since oftentimes they had no choice in the move. They need to understand why a move is necessary. Talking to them in detail about their new home - the school they will be going to, community centres in the area and fun and exciting things about the new city - will make the move more appealing.

It is important to include children in making plans for the move. If possible, let them have a say in the house to live in. They will feel more confident with the move if you provide lots of information and pictures on their new home. Let them decorate their own bedrooms.

During the craziness of moving (the packing, traveling and unpacking) take time out to relax and listen to any concerns they may have. Remember not to pack security blankets or favourite toys - these will be a comfort to them.

For the younger children, there are many books on moving. Involve older children in the actual move. They can pack up their own things, and throw out things they don't want anymore. You don't want to make the mistake of throwing something out and then get to the new home and they're asking where it is.

A going-away party is always a good idea. Everyone comes to you for the goodbyes, addresses and e-mails can be exchanged, and the children will be more ready to accept the reality of the move.

Some families fly to their new location, and some travel by car. Whatever the case, it is always a good idea to keep children entertained. For older children, a diary for recording their trip is a good present. For younger kids, a constant supply of cheap toys, books and colouring books will keep them busy. Stores that sell everything for a dollar are great for this.

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