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Moving with Kids - Before the Move

Between logistics and wrapping up as well as preparing, there's no doubt, moving is tough on everyone. With school soon releasing, we focus on kids this issue - the challenges, the joys, and their specific concerns.


With summer approaching, most schools are letting out; and for those that are not, parents are likely thinking about the move home and transition. With the start of a new school year a bit away, Nextpat brings you thoughts on how to prepare for a move with children. Naturally, thisvaries for different ages, but we focus this month primarily on school age children, who have a multitude of different forms of expression and may often find it harder to express themselves than older children, and who have become accustomed to routines set by school, where they will face greater emotional challenges in leaving than younger children.


There are hundreds of resources out there, we've compiled a few articles we found most useful in the links and tips below.


(1) Talk to your children about the move as early and as completely as possible. Provide the details on where they will go, when, what that will mean. Provide age-appropriate information that will ideally lead them to excitement about the new adventure.

(2) Respect their questions and provide answers. Remember to provide more information, such as answers to those questions that you think of yourself, that aren't directly asked. Some books might help.

(3) Prepare the child's room and belongings first, help them find a rhythm and settle into the new place, with some comfort items from the last home.

(4) Recognize that just as you have relapse and homesickness (repatriation blues) your child will too and may not know how to express it either. Be prepared for a variety of emotions, sadness, quiet, adjustment, excitement, and anger. Inside Out demonstrates this beautifully - and is a great prep movie!

(5) Set an example, and bolster their social skills in the new locale - find neighbors and friends at school who are open to your child's experiences or willing to explore some of the things you've brought back, through projects such as cooking or watching a foreign film.


Moving is hard on everyone - make sure you prepare and plan out what's next. There are hundreds of resources online and in books, some of which are linked above. Please also e-mail us your stories, triumphs, what worked, what didn't, and how we can help! Nextpat has specific programming for children, who sometimes feel more isolated in a new place than they let on - with their myriad of experiences and stories they may feel older or like they don't fit in. Being present for them, despite the challenges, continues to build your relationship and their own experiences.

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