Children, from toddlers to teenagers, are affected by your move. But parents can make the transition a more positive experience by keeping lines of communication open.
Stress the positive aspects of the move. Talk about new friends and your new community. For younger children, make sure you keep familiar toys, stuffed animals and books nearby. Don't abandon familiar bedtime routines, like stories or prayers.
When a child says, "I'm going to miss my friends," assure your child that you understand and that he can keep in touch with friends. Tell her that she can call and write; that being apart doesn't mean being out of touch. And assure your children that there will be many new friends waiting in the new community.
Children will also want to know about your new home. Use a road atlas to explain where you are now and where you will be moving. When you visit your new community, take pictures and explain each picture to your children. Older children can even plan the trip and learn about interesting places along the way.
Make sure new teachers help play a role in reducing anxiety. Meet with teachers personally, and tell them about your child's special interests, needs, and concerns. When you form new friendships with neighbors, it will help your children to do the same.
On moving day, arrange for child care. It will be difficult for you to spend quality time with your children during the moving process. And encourage your children to pack some of their favorite items; that will help make them part of the process.
Above all, be sensitive to your children. Talk to them. Listen to their concerns. Empathize. Assure them that everything will be fine; they will adjust more quickly than you might ever imagine.