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We have to tell the kids we are moving - any good suggestions?

We have to tell the kids we are moving - any good suggestions?

Nov 25th, 2005, 05:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 9
We have to tell the kids we are moving - any good suggestions?

We are being relocated in the new year and we have to tell the kids shortly. This is our second move (3 yrs ago) and I am so worried about the effect this is going to have on my 8 yr old boy. We have 3 kids - 8 and 5 yr old boys and 20 month girl. Any experiences that you could share would be helpful.
nj_13 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Kids are very resilient and adaptable. Treat it as exciting and they will, too. My dad was a career officer in the Army and we moved... OFTEN. I went to over twenty different schools between elementary and high schools. I am here to tell you it was a great life and made me the travel adventurer I am today. If you fear the move,they will. If you embrace the change and the adventure they will. Best wishes.
cmcfong is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 06:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I work as a counselor at an elementary school and the children usually handle the move much better than the parents expect. It would be great if they could visit their new school before they go. Also try joinging scouts or community groups to make it easier to make new friends. Children will take things in stride if you do.
schmerl is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 06:41 PM
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Thanks for the encouragement and great advice. We will probably have to move them to the new school in March or April, which, unfortunately is not ideal. I would have liked a January or September start. My eldest son has never liked change, which makes the process much more difficult.
nj_13 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 07:07 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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The good thing about getting in before school is out is they get to make a few friends for the summer. We moved in our area in May and my kids were preschool age. We had a long and lonely summer till Kindergarten began. I agree with cmcfong, make it an adventure. Find out things to visit in your new town and tell the kids that you will get to see these fun things when you are there. Call the school and let them know your son is shy and that maybe they can assign a buddy to him to help him the first week of school. Your kids are young and I am sure they will adjust fine. My best friend moved away and her children are 12, 13, and 8. They all had a hard first couple of weeks of school, but have found new friends and have moved on. She is the lonely one. Your kids are little so you will meet lots of young moms. Now is a good time. Better than middle school age.
girlonthego is online now  
Nov 25th, 2005, 09:27 PM
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You don't say how far you will be moving away, so I don't know if there will ever be return visits to old friends; but my uncle moved frequently (service) and my aunt would always work on a photo album the few months prior to the move, taking a photo of their house, their favorite spots, favorite scenery, etc - taking a few more photos than usual (since her thought was most of us tend to not take photos of where we live and only where we visit) - she would then make a special album - and still not telling the kids, would have it handy for them as a storybook album type thing when needed to reminisce - I remember as they got older, (since they moved so often) they would work on the albums with her, but only you could determine, if you even like this idea, of whether or not it is something you would want to involve your son in or if it might make him sadder doing it, etc) - but sometime later, whether he ever expresses he misses something or forgets what it looks like, or even if never needed, many years later it might be fun to have in general. He may even want to share it in school or with his new friends when they come over to play to show where he used to live/park/play ball/whatever. Just an idea that worked for someone that I thought I might share.

I agree with everyone - kids are more resilient than we are and often follow our lead. Be adventurous about it - maybe get some books/ articles/ maps / web pages about where you are going and show him some of the highlights of the area you are going to which might help him get excited about a new experience. Good Luck - your family will be together and that's what counts - home is wherever you all are.
escargot is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 09:33 PM
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No advice, no children, but a thank you for caring how they may feel.
cigalechanta is offline  
Nov 25th, 2005, 11:07 PM
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Not to worry. My family moved a lot as I was growing up, leaving places far behind. It was sad to leave, but we all made friends easily. For most kids, moving is fairly easy until high school, but that is another story. Having a positive attitude yourselves and planning on the fun things you will do in your new community is a good idea.

As girlonthego wrote, many people prefer to move their kids before summer so that they have friends in their new home over the summer.

Just a little story here on a family move. Just before starting third grade, my family moved from Illinois to Tempe AZ. On the first day of school, I got lost walking home. It was blazing hot and I was wearing a dress with a metal zipper up the back. The zipper got hotter and hotter as I searched for our house. When I finally got home, we found I had a red burn down my back where the zipper had scorched my skin! And that is all I remember of my first day of school in our new home in Arizona.
Orcas is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 12:21 AM
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One advice someone gave me came from a lady that moved often. She said when you move into a new home, get the kids bedrooms organized first and have those ready before doing any of the other rooms.
offlady is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 04:38 AM
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Mid-year is better for kids that age - they will make friends before summer.

Contact new school and have them send photos, possibly penpals of those in new class - teachers of kids that age might be happy to have an interesting writing experience for their classes.

Make it an "event" - see if you can order a t-shirt, mug, something with name of new town or school. It is all in how you present it to the kids - your worry will transmit to them. Sure, they will protest and even cry and scream. But if we never did anything that our kids objected to, we would all be in a big mess!

Even go to websites that show maps from space of towns, etc - look for parks, playgrounds, pools, malls - whatever your kid likes. When you have a new house or apartment, you can even show them that on the map.
gail is online now  
Nov 26th, 2005, 05:10 AM
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Some suggestions:
I agree with those posters who said to see if they can "buddy" or "shadow" someone and tour the school for a day before you move. That child will have some friends he met in class and they will be able to meet the "new" kid ahead of his arrival. Even if they don't end up in the same class when you arrive, at least they will see some familiar faces at lunch or recess.

I don't know if your children can type but perhaps they can get email or IM addresses for some of the children they meet and do some online getting-to-know-you ahead of time.

Are your kids into sports or scouts? Sign them up for a spring team (like baseball, soccer or lacrosse) and see if they can do a tryout in the spring for a fall team. They will get to meet some kids at that time too, even if they do not choose to play. Going to a scout meeting will be a similar experience.

Your younger children will likely adapt easier if they have familiar surroundings in their rooms. The 8 year old should be OK if he gets to meet a few kids his age. Will there be new kids in your neighborhood that are the same age? If you know where you will be living, take the boys for a walking tour of the place so they can get to know it ahead of the move and ask your broker if he/she can find out if there are any children your kids' ages close by. You can tell the kids that you heard there are children in this or that house and maybe when you move, you can meet them. It will give them something to anticipate.

Good luck with the move.
GBelle is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 05:19 AM
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Hi nj,

I agree. Make it a good, exciting adventure.

Encourage your oldest to research your new home on the internet.

Best of luck.

ira is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 08:05 AM
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Thank-you so much for the great feedback! I think my trepidation now is the initial "talk"we have with the kids. We still need to narrow in on a place to live. We are moving to the "burbs " of Atlanta. The Dunwoody area - anywhere around there that has good public schools and community!!
nj_13 is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 09:03 AM
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You are a great parent. Don't worry, as these ages are actually the best for changes in this category.

You've gotten very good advice. Give the 8 year old some special TLC time in the months following the move.

When you pick out a house, pick one out that you may be with quite a while if possible. In five to 7 years it will be much, much harder to move once again. So avoid it, if you can.
JJ5 is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 11:51 AM
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nj_13, Just be honest and tell the kids why you are moving. I presume this is because of a job relocation or change. The kids will understand that earning an income is critical to everyone's well-being. You can be sensitive to their concerns, but make no apologies and don't be defensive. The move is going to happen for good reasons. Atlanta is a beautiful area and there are lots of family activities there. Show them cool websites on Atlanta - the new aquarium, Coke museum, zoo, and other things they will enjoy visiting.
Orcas is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 01:15 PM
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How about "we got the GREATEST news today, Daddy has a new job and we GET to move with him!!"
desertduds is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 02:18 PM
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I like it!
Orcas is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 05:44 PM
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Try to talk to the kids the same way as you'd go on vacations: which sites to visit, what amusements and movies they will see there, where this place is. And when they get interested, tell them it will be a permanent move. Make it sound like an adventure.

Once you are there: first of all unpack their favorite things, like a familiar blankie, a toy or a book. Spend more time with them in the new environment. Take them around to show the new area. Be very patient, as they may "act out" even if properly prepared.
FainaAgain is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 05:53 PM
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My family made 2 big moves when I was a kid - once when I was 6 and once when I was 10.

I agree with the others that making it an adventure is the key. Be positive and excited about the move. Also, setting up the kids' rooms first is really good. My parents did that for me and it was so great to have all my own stuff again - I didn't feel like such a transplant.

When I was 6, we moved before school was out, which was great because I met all the kids in my class before summer. When I was 10, we moved right at the beginning of summer, which was tough because I only had a chance to meet kids right in my immediate neighborhood until school started.
J_Correa is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 06:06 PM
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Although it was quite a few years ago now, we moved cross country twice within three years when our three boys were small, and I remember the stress of it well. Yes, be positive, and make it an exciting adventure. However, be aware that your two oldest may have friends they are attached to, and will feel sad to leave behind. Be willing to acknowledge that, and share with them that you, too, are sad to leave your own friends, but you are really looking forward to making new ones. Talk about how you can all keep in touch with the friends you are leaving - be willing to let them make occasional phone calls to them after the move (especially your oldest). These will help with the transistion, and will decrease and likely stop as they make new friends. Are you moving very far from where you live now? If it's feasible, plan for having one of the 8 year old's current friends to visit for a few days next summer, which will give him something to look forward to. This may not be practical, but might be helpful if it is. Good luck, I'm sure you'll all be fine.
Sara is offline  

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