Ages 6 to 12Elementary age kids are usually most concerned with how the everyday routines of their lives are going to change. Showing them pictures, videos and magazines of their new home will help a lot, especially if you can find new places in advance for the things they like to do. If your child takes dance lessons, find and share information about the new dance studio she can go to. If he takes karate, or plays soccer or baseball bring that information home. Even if their favorite things to do is the park or the pizza parlor, find these places in your new neighborhood and get brochures, pictures or videos.
TeenagersTeenagers are most concerned with fitting in. They may concerned about the move, even insist they’re not going. This is usually due to the total lack of control they have over everything important in their lives – friends, school and jobs – being disrupted. These children can be very worried about making new friends, and what will be different in the new school. They are curious about the clothing, hairstyles, bicycles, cars, etc. that kids in the new city will have. Pictures of all these things are very helpful, so if you take an orientation trip be sure to take many detailed photos/videos of the schools they will be attending.
Regardless of when you move, prepare your children well for the transition. By planning ahead, you’ll be able to offer them a few details of what to expect. Give the kids plenty of opportunity to express their feelings about the move, and their thoughts about the new school, new friends, teachers, and leaving all that is familiar. Different children have different needs, certainly, and all kids process it differently. Share your feelings and encourage the kids to see the move as a family adventure. You will all experience the new adventure, and it’s important that everyone understands how normal these feelings are. Looking ahead to the new house, new school, and new friends should shortly be an exciting experience.”