Tips for Making Multiple Moves with Children
While moving can bring positive changes into children’s lives, moving can impede social and academic progress in some children. In addition, because the effects are cumulative, multiple moves put these children at higher risk. However, parents in families who must move frequently can take steps to lessen the impact of various relocations. Here are some tips.
Work With the Schools
Schools can help alleviate many of the potential adverse effects of moving for school-aged children. First, decide whether your child will attend public schools or a private school in the new neighborhood. If you choose schools, ask questions such as what gifts your child has and what elements they need to thrive. Then consult your network and the Internet to determine which schools will provide the child’s needs and schedule a tour of each with your child.
Once you’ve determined the school, talk with the principal and teachers at both the old and new schools to assess strategies for making the adjustment easier. Make a portfolio of your child’s work to take to the new school to aid in placement. Understand as much as possible about your child’s educational progress and needs. If your child is in high school, consider letting them stay with a relative to finish out the school year.
Finally, determine if your child may already know any other students at the new school. Perhaps, one of the students would agree to accompany your child to school the first day if they do.
Monitor the child’s adjustment closely and check back in with teachers after six weeks to determine how the child is adjusting.
Provide a Stable Environment
A stable and secure environment supports healthy child development. Since the child’s housing, neighborhood, friend, and school situation will be changing, stability in other areas such as parenting and family dynamics will become more critical during the transition. Try to maintain familiar routines as much as possible and give your child a little extra attention during the transition time.
Once you arrive at the new location, unpack your child’s room first. Having a safe place with familiar toys around will make a strong stability statement. Plan some fun activities to do soon after you arrive.
Inform and Involve the Child
Tell children about the move well in advance and explain why the move is necessary. Be honest about what will change and when. Provide them with information about the move and with maps and newspapers if they are old enough. Let them make decisions about their room decor, if possible.
Allow them to express their feelings and be willing to accept grief. If they are old enough, ask them to draw or write down the things they look forward to from the move and the things that worry them. Take time to acknowledge each one.
If you or your child’s teacher know of other children who have moved recently, ask them to talk with your child about what moving was like and how they adjusted.
Friendships are essential to children, especially adolescents. Provide ample time for them to say their goodbyes. Encourage them to keep memory books and stay in touch with their friends on email, social media, phone, and visits.
Help With Your Family Move
If you need to make a family move, we can help. Reach out to us for a free quote. Then, let us handle the moving logistics while you focus on your children.