Though many people move to small towns for the safety, sense of community, and more wholesome "second or third layer" of great group activities they offer -- the move can still be scary for young kids. Here are ways to help them feel secure when moving to their new town if you have a few weeks before the actual moving time.
Remember that when children relocate, they don’t always respond to the promise of “newness” (new adventures, new friends) until they address the feeling of lost familiarity and security they crave at the moment.
- As soon as possible in their current home, make a routine of looking at the moon, watching it to proceed to its fullest or towards its most slivery crescent -- but preferably both, whichever you have time for depending on when you're moving. Even when it’s too cloudy to see, point out that the moon will always be there and eventually you’ll be able to see it again. Then, when the children move to a new place, have them begin that tradition again for another month or so. Do it with them if you’re there, call them and do it with them if you’re not. Knowing it’s the same moon as their old home is very comforting to relocating children.
- Do the same thing you did with the moon with easy-to-recognize constellations, such as the big dipper or Orion.
- Choose a few favorite – but not “too” favorite – toys to pack up and send ahead of the move. Depending on your situation and age of your children, send them a couple of weeks to two months ahead of your children’s relocation. Package tracking, insurance and conformation of arrival is highly encouraged. If your kids are moving and you’re staying, make sure the person on the other end is responsible enough to work this plan out with you and keep the toys safe for your kids’ arrival. Your kids will know their toy friends are there waiting for them. They’ll have gotten used to them being gone at their first home. And taking them out at their new home and seeing them again can bring on a feeling of homecoming and security stronger than just unpacking what they’d recently packed a few days ago before moving. Again, do not choose a toy that’s so beloved they must sleep with it and take it wherever they go.
If it isn't possible to mail something to the new location until right before moving, then still have the kids help pack away the toys as far ahead of time as possible, then have them delivered to the new location close to moving time. This will still give kids the sense of something familiar having been gone for a while then being found again, and already being there when they arrive.