Easing the move transition - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 03-28-2002, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We will be moving at the end of April. Ds is 3 and we have been talking about moving all along. For a long time actually. We were orginally supposed to move end of Dec. then end of March.
Anyway, I am looking for ideas from all of you about how to make it a more pleasant experience for him.
Some details- We are going to stay at my IL for a few months while dh job hunts. We are renting a truck. Ds is already listing the things he wants to put on the truck himself.
What are some things you have done that were helpful, or not so helpful? What problems or concerns came up with your child(ren)? What kinds of things do they still remember about the move?
Thanks a million in advance!
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#2 of 19 Old 03-28-2002, 10:40 PM
 
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The only thing that really sticks out in my mind from when we moved when my boys were little was they just didn't get the idea that their "things" were coming with them. They seemed convinced that they would leave behind their favorite toys, beds , blankets, everything. This worried them to no end!
We some what solved this by letting them pack a box with their very favorite things to bring in the car..not to be put in the moving truck. Of course they weren't truly reassured until they got to the new house and their bed rooms looked almost the same as they used too.
The last time we moved was 17 years ago!!! So that's all I can remember...
I hope some one else has some more ideas!

peggy
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#3 of 19 Old 03-29-2002, 10:01 AM
 
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I look forward to reading the responses to this one. We moved when DS was 3.5 yrs old & had no idea it would affect him so much (but we didn't do any preparation). We'll be moving yet again when he's almost 4.5 yrs old, so we will prepare for it this time, the question is what can we do to ease the transition?
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#4 of 19 Old 03-29-2002, 01:37 PM
 
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We moved last October when dd was not quite 3. I don't know if your kids are into books, but we went to the library and got some kids books about moving. It really seemed to help dd visualize what the move would be like and helped her to talk about her concerns. We also talked a lot about what the new place would be like and what would help it be a special place for dd. I think this helped her feel a little more in control of what was happening. We drew pictures of what it would look like and where her things would be. We also made a point to say goodbye to the old place right before the move.

We were lucky in that we only moved about a mile from our old place. I was able to go over before the move and put stars on the ceiling of dd's room and leave a couple of small wrapped gifts for her to find when we got there.

It took about a month, but soon dd was saying she loved her new home.

Best of luck with your move!

Liz
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#5 of 19 Old 03-29-2002, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks SummerLover. Ds does really like books and I was thinking about finding some about moving.
I also really like the idea of placing gifts and decorations in his new room. I can have MIL do some of that for me.
Keep those ideas coming!

Good luck to you and your family on the move, saganaga. What were some of the problems you had with your ds, if I may ask? I want to be ready to head off anything!
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#6 of 19 Old 03-30-2002, 04:06 PM
 
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When you move the first thing you need to do is make new friends for you and the little one. One of the best ways I know when you have preschoolers is to get involved with a MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers).

http://www.mops.org/

They are a non-proffit that helps moms or preschool age kids get the support they need from others in the same boat.

And their kids get to meet other kids their age in the area also.

They changed my life in many ways. All my best friends now are people I met at MOPS when I moved.
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#7 of 19 Old 03-31-2002, 10:52 AM
 
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RasJane,
Problems we had with DS (when we moved when he was 3.5 yo)---he would ask for things (mostly food) that we were able to buy where we used to live, but couldn't buy here. He assumed we were going to go back to our old place, didn't understand that this is our new home. He acted up a lot. I most say that DS is spirited & has a difficult time with transitions-even things like leaving the house, leaving the library, leaving the children's museum. He's slow to adapt, a new living place is overstimulating for him (at the beginning), he doesn't know how to process all that new stimuli.

moving sue,
I already checked out if there's a MOPS group where we're moving to & there is
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#8 of 19 Old 04-01-2002, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, moving sue. I will check to see if there is a MOPS there. I really need friends too.
And saganaga-that helps heaps. Ds is also spirited. Transitions are just not our thing! I hope to be able to make it a smooth as possible.
Maybe I will try to buy a few cases of the foods we may not be able to get at the new place. Actually I will do a lot of checking to see what things are similar.
You folks are great!
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#9 of 19 Old 04-03-2002, 12:33 PM
 
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I just went to a Raising Your Child Seminar last night and the subject was Adaptability. I asked the question about moving, here's what the group had for suggestions: have a calendar (with pictures) with the moving date on it, make a photo album/video/scrap book of the whole moving experience, keep your routine as much as possible, keep the same bedding on child's bed, talk about the move in advance, read The Berenstein Bears "Moving Day" book to your child.
Hope this helps.
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#10 of 19 Old 04-04-2002, 03:21 AM
 
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We've moved tons. More times that I can count. Our last move was the end of Nov. and we are still in temporary housing.

It sounds like you are off to a good start. Show him a map of your trip. If some of your things will be going into storage for a while, explain that, too. Let him help decide what will stay with you and what will go to storage. If you have pets talk a great deal about what is happening to the pets. This is a big issue for young kids.

We said good bye to our last house and walk all around the yard saying good bye to the trees, rocks etc. It made me feel very sad, but my kids (who were 3 and 5 at the time) really loved it. I had a special moving day present for each of them in the car. Obviously, something they could play with in the car! Unwrapping it in the car was very exciting and fun.

Since you are moving to where you have family, have them check out what is available for kids there -- story time at the library, classes through parks and rec., children's museum, etc. Talk about this stuff a great deal with your son. When we moved from Canada last fall it was already cold, but I had told my kids that it would be warm enough to go to the zoo here in southern Arizona when we got here. It gave them something concrete to look foward to. (And we went the zoo when we had been here less than a week).

If there are issues of concern or uncertainty, don't talk about them infront of you DS. This is scary for kids, and it is easier for them if we appear to have it all under control.

One mistake that I made with an earilier move was making a big deal about my DD (who was 2 1/2) saying good bye to her friends and making little photo ablum of them for her to keep. Looking back, this just made it harder for her to let go those kids. With this last move (my kids were 3 and 5) I said as little as I could about their friends and I only talk about them now when they bring them up. We saw their friend one last time and said good bye, but I keep my emotions out of it and it a fun time instead of a sad time.

I haven't had good luck finding kids' books about about cross country moves. Books and that say over and over than mommy will still take you over to play with your favorite buddy just aren't helpful to child moving thousands of miles.

Both of my kids have gone through some regression in every move. What ever the last new still is that they have mastered, they seem to loose ( like potty training, sleeping through the night, etc.)

Save some of the big boxes after your move and make a puppet threater or play house (or both!)

later,
Linda -- who had one child in Wichita, one in Little Rock (where we lived in an apartment and then a house), lived for a while in sunny Tucson (3 months in an apartment and then 11 months in a house), headed up to Montreal (horrid little town house right next the airport), lived in the country side in Ontario (a great house on the water), and then came back to Tucson -- in 5 short years! I can no longer remember my phone number.
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#11 of 19 Old 04-04-2002, 10:16 AM
 
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Wow you had a wealth of information (from all your moving experiences)---thanks for sharing that! Great tips about asking the child which toys will come with & which toys will stay in storage because we're staying in a furished appt for 6 weeks. Also liked the one about opening a car trip gift in the car. Good point about the books that say mom will bring you to play with your friend when you're moving out of state! It is so true what you said about regression---never start potty training right when you move!

I think I used to know you, since you mentioned you lived in Montreal & Ontario, did you used to be on an APEpat list? I used to live in France. If you're who I'm thinking how has live been for you? Is your family happier in Arizona? If you remember me, we are happier in the US.
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#12 of 19 Old 04-04-2002, 12:26 PM
 
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Yes, it's me! Did you already move back from France and now you are moving to a new city in the US?

We are much happier in here in southern Arizona than any place else we've lived. My kids are really happy here and are making lots of friends (which was a big issue for us in Canada). I think that there are other places in Canada that I would have liked, but I found living where I don't speak the language very difficult and I hated the weather. None the less, since we've been back for a few months, I am missing some things about eastern Ontario.

One hard thing for me is comparing places and knowing which city would be the best one for what ever it is that I want to do today. The best Children's Museum is in Hull Quebec, my favorite zoo is here in Tucson, Wichita was close to my family, I had tons of cool AP friends in Little Rock, the weather is great in Tucson, there is a super pool for little kids in Dorval Quebec, the classes through parks and rec in Tucson are great, I would love to spend one more afternoon at the Byward Market in Ottawa, etc. It tends to make me not very happy anywhere!

Other moving thoughts --

Do you have a list of what the furnished kitchen has in it? I've ended up buying things that I already owned but were in storage. I can't live without measuring cups, a pizza pan, and a drainer for pasta. You might think about the foods your family eats often and make sure that you will have what you need to make them. (I also love my crock pot!)

I also recommend using a notebook to keep track of everything. I use a 3 ring binder with traper folders for loose papers and a zipper pouch for pens and stamps. There are so many phone numbers and misc bits of information to keep track of with a big move.
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#13 of 19 Old 04-04-2002, 11:07 PM
 
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Yes, we moved from France to the US in Sept & we're already going to move at the end of June. To make it worse when we move in June it'll only be for 6 weeks---not sure where we're going to be after that!

Thanks for the tip of keeping track of everything---that will be my job as DH is way too forgetful!

It was nice bumping into you!
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#14 of 19 Old 04-05-2002, 12:30 AM
 
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It was nice bumping into you, too!

Moving several times right in a row is a drag -- no matter what you do to prepare. Our things seem to gradually become less and less organized, and we keep buy the kids more and more trinkets to help smooth over bad days, etc.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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#15 of 19 Old 04-07-2002, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Linda for all that great info! I was really wondering what to do about ds's friends. We said goodbye to them before this trip we are on right now and I don't think ds really liked that. I am planning on getting a few boxes just for him. He is also adamant about putting his bed on the truck himself.
I think I am making things really hard for him right now. We are down at my dp's house for 2-3 weeks, then back home, then moving 2 weeks later. What a whirlwind for a little guy! He is having accidents-esp at night and naptime. He is also not doing transitions at all. Getting really out of control in lots of ways. But I don't know what to do about that for right now, except do the best I can with what we have. The fact that we can play outside lots (out in the country) helps.
It is so nice to have all your wisdom on the move though. I know what you mean, saganaga about the temporary move. We are moving long enough for dh to find a job and then--who knows where to next. And ds knows the situation although he doesn't understand it. I can't wait to just get settled with him and have it be over with.
Thanks
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#16 of 19 Old 04-08-2002, 12:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by RasJane
He is having accidents-esp at night and naptime. He is also not doing transitions at all. Getting really out of control in lots of ways. But I don't know what to do about that for right now, except do the best I can with what we have.
If it helps at all, I know exactly what you are going through
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#17 of 19 Old 04-11-2002, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Linda. I appreciate it. I just have him back in diapers at night and sometimes during nap if he wants one. Good thing I thought to bring down a couple! Of course then I am handwashing 2 diapers on rotation with only one cover.: Could be worse eh?
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#18 of 19 Old 04-11-2002, 02:52 PM
 
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When we moved to Montreal, I finally broke down and bought pullups. :

We are still using them, but a package last a long time since we only use 2 per day.
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#19 of 19 Old 04-16-2002, 12:02 AM
 
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We are making a move within the next month, and I have a three-year-old boy who doesn't transition well. It was suggested to me to give a drop or two of the Bach Flower Remedy "Walnut" for a week or two prior to, during, and after the move. It's worth a try!

Flowers, fairies, gardens, and rainbows-- Seasons of Joy: 10 weeks of crafts, handwork, painting, coloring, circle time, fairy tales, and more!
Check out the blog for family fun, homeschooling, books, simple living, and 6 fabulous children, including twin toddlers

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