Moving can be both an exciting and scary time for children. There are several things you can do, however, to lessen the strain on them and make the move as smooth as possible. Include the children when making plans for the move. For example, if it is possible, take them with you when you go to look for your new house or apartment. If the children are very young, act out the moving process with them using dolls, boxes and a wagon. This can help them better know what to expect from the move. Allow children to be involved in what the new house will look like. Give them a voice in making decisions about how their new rooms will be arranged and decorated. Encourage children to exchange addresses with their friends. If possible, consider allowing them to have their old friends visit them at the new home. A telephone call to an old friend may be a low-cost way to help relieve post-move depression. Prepare a package for each child containing snacks, clothing, and favorite toys that he or she can take on the day of the actual move. When you arrive at your new destination, you might want to consider having your TV and VCR hooked up first to help occupy the children while the rest of the van is being unloaded. The single most important factor that determines how well children cope with a move is their parents' attitude. Position the move as an exciting adventure, and even though it is an extremely busy time, make yourself available to talk and listen to their concerns.
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