MAKING THE MOVE WITH CHILDREN

The changes that come with moving can be both exciting and scary for children of all ages.  Keep in mind that children often handle new situations differently.  Here are a few tips for parents from children who have moved:

  1. Ask your children what they think about your move.  Give them the chance to talk about their concerns, their dreams, and their ideas about the new place they’ll call home.

  2. Tell them as much as you can about Columbia, the new home, and the new schools.  Our relocation information should help you answer their questions and get them excited about their new home.  I’d be happy to send you more information upon request.

  3. Don’t surprise your children.  Tell them far enough in advance of the actual move that they’ll have the chance to think about it and talk to you about their concerns and
    emotions.  However, I also suggest you advise your children not to tell their friends
    until the moving date gets closer.

  4. Do give your children the chance to say good-bye to their friends, and be sure to get e-mail addresses.

  5. If possible, move during the school year so that your children have a chance to make new friends before the summer break.

  6. Once you’re in your new home, give your children plenty of opportunities to meet other children and make new friends.  If this means giving them a bit more freedom,
    consider doing it.

  7. Don’t be surprised or alarmed if for a while your children seem moody or out of sorts. It’s probably just part of adapting to all the changes.  Give them time to adjust and try not to be overly persistent in asking if they’re making new friends, as this only adds to their stress.

And here are more tips for parents from parents experienced at moving with children:

  1. Even though you are busy getting ready to move, set aside time to spend with your children.  No matter what their ages, they need time with you...an important
    "constant" in their lives.

  2. Talk to your pediatrician before you move and get recommendations, copies of medical records, etc., which helps make the transition easier.

  3. Include your children in organizing, packing, and unpacking.  Assign special age- appropriate tasks to make them feel part of the move.

  4. Prepare for moving your child to Columbia by checking on the availability of activities related to his or her special interests.

  5. If you have older children, involve them in decorating their new rooms, and encourage them to gather information about Columbia, their hobbies, sports, and other
    activities which interest them. The Internet can offer invaluable information.

  6. If you move during the summer, encourage your children to get involved in summer activities.  Older children may want to get summer jobs to make new friends before
    school starts.