|Helpful Moving Tips - Moving with Children - Elementary School Age
Source: Standard Installation Topic Exchange System (SITES) for LIFELines
Coping with Children's Concerns
- Tell your children about the move as soon as the decision is made.
- Share your thoughts with them/answer questions honestly.
- Enlist their help and ideas.
- Give the children encouragement, recognition and approval.
- Take pictures of the new area/residence, both inside and outside, including the front door, child's room, yard or play area, and other places of particular interest in the community, such as parks and amusement areas.
- Involve the children in planning the decor of their new bedrooms or play areas.
- Take pictures or videos of friends and memorable areas you are leaving. It’s important that you ask for permission to take pictures; some people are wary of being photographed.
Let Your Youngsters Help with Moving Preparations
- Check out website of new area and schools.
- Tell the whole neighborhood that you're moving.
- Clean out basements, garages, or yard prior to the move.
- Assist with tag sale or the charity donation of unwanted toys, clothing, and books.
- Assist in planning care of plants and pets during the move.
- Be sure to let them pick out a few favorite items to carry with you during the move.
- Organize their belongings for the movers to pack.
- Collect addresses of their friends and neighbors.
- When all is done, a "goodbye old friends" party might be in order.
- Find out what kind of youth sponsorship program is available.
- Tune into Military Teens on the Move site for 6-12 year olds and militarystudent.org
- Get information about the local youth program.
- Find out about youth groups sponsored by other organizations.
When you have selected the school your child will attend:
- Walk through while it is in session.
- Notice the kinds of clothing the students wear, the kinds of shoes, the kinds of bags in which they carry their books, the kinds of hairstyles, how they participate at lunch.
- Take pictures or videos of the local children; get their permission to take the pictures home.
Once you arrive in town, tour the new school:
- Meet with school administrators, teachers, crossing guards and bus drivers.
- Familiarize the children with the routes they will take.
- Make sure that education and health records are transferred in sufficient time.
- Have copies of important documents such as school records, immunization card, etc. with you.
Moving Day Suggestions
- Let them pack their own bags of items important to them.
- Be sure favorite toys, dolls, etc. are taken in the car or put into a "first to unpack" box.
- Make certain that enough fun games, books, songs, and/or tapes are taken for the trip to the new location. You can invent a guessing game about the new location for the family to play in the car.
When You Arrive
- Make it easy for children to meet others their own ages. Encourage them to invite new friends home.
- Help them plan and throw a “get acquainted” party.
- Have a "scavenger hunt" in the neighborhood or a "people hunt" designed to meet new friends of a certain age or specific interest, etc.
Helpful Web Sites:
Military Child Education Coalition The military child coalition is a clearinghouse of information important to parents researching the educational needs of a child. It includes military and school links.
- Department of Defense Education Provided by the Department of Defense school system this site focuses on the history, success rate, student testing procedures and much more.
- After School Helping individuals interested in the growth and development of children between ages 6-18 by providing information on how to obtain funding for an event or after school activity.
- Healthy Parenting Provides military specific parenting resources including access to Family Advocacy Program, chaplains' programs, and medical clinics.
- Military Teens and Kids on the Move Provides exceptional advice and guidance to moving with teens or children for both parents and the children themselves.
- Directory of Child Development Centers Provides statistical and other helpful information on child care centers to members of the military community.