Relocating can be as nerve-racking and daunting as it is exciting and wonderful. When you factor in your children and the changes they will experience, the laundry list of things you need to think about grows even longer. But organization is key, and there are some things you can do to make the transition smooth for everyone.
When to move
- If possible, move after the school year ends. If you have younger children, moving earlier in the summer gives them the opportunity to get involved in activities in their new community. If you have older children and teenagers, later in the summer may be better, so they can say goodbye to their friends and wrap up any summer activities. This also prevents them from being in a new place for the summer, where they may be lonely and bored.
- If it's within your budget, using the services of a moving company can relieve much of the stress when moving with children. Since summer is the busiest time of year to move, plan to move on a weekday and avoid holiday weekends if you can. This increases your likelihood of obtaining the services of a moving company.
- If hiring a moving company isn't feasible, hire a sitter or involve your children with age-appropriate activities to help with the move. Let them help with packing their own belongings. Clearly label boxes with their names. Unpacking and setting up their own space in a new home can help with the transition.
- As soon as you decide to move, research the schools (including daycare and extended care) in your new location. Consider your children and their needs, and make sure the school you choose will be the best fit for them. Start the process of enrollment as soon as possible, including gathering required documents.
- Request permission to take a tour of the school so your children will have a head start on navigating the hallways once the first day rolls around.
- Practice the morning commute (the walk to the bus stop and/or the drive to school). By doing so, you help your kids retain a certain level of normalcy and a feeling of preparedness.
- If your children are interested in extra-curricular activities, find out when registration for those activities will be; some may start during the summer.
- Get to know people in your new community to provide your children with an opportunity to make friends.Take the time to introduce yourself and your family to your new neighbors. Ask about neighborhood activities you can attend.
- Consider becoming involved in sports, a local summer camp or special programs at your new library or church. Doing so as a family can benefit both you and your children.
One last tip: Pack a separate "comfort" box with favorite snacks, toys, electronics, clothing, etc. Ensure you have easy access to items your children will need to feel at home right away.
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