To help children make the transition from an old home to a new, try to ease some of the initial fear or apprehension by offering information.
- Look up things about the new home online, on maps or in reference books. Make a scavenger hunt or other game out of the activity.
- Have a special goodbye or moving party. Make sure to collect addresses and phone numbers. Consider giving older kids pre-paid phone cards to help them stay connected.
- Pack a special moving box for each child with snacks, a favorite toy, pillow and other special possessions. Help them place it in their new room first to help it feel like home.
- Go on a memory walk inside and outside the home you are leaving as a family. As you discuss memories, it might be easy to point out that most of the memories involve the family and not the walls they live in.
- Walk the new home. Discuss similarities and differences. Explore the home with interest.
- Re-establish family routines as quickly as possible. This will reassure children that some things never change.
- Visit new schools and new neighborhoods as a family to help children acclimate and find friends. Join local activities.
Moving with pets
Moving to a new home with pets can mean some trying times. Try limiting the pet to a “safe” room. Make sure familiar toys, beds and dishes are available and let the pet explore the house and neighborhood slowly. When you leave, put the pet in that room. Once boxes are unpacked and furniture is in its place, allow the pet to explore slowly. Keep dogs on a leash to prevent meeting your neighbors while searching for your lost pets.
(Part of the above information obtained from the Humane Society of the United States.)