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How to Help Your Child Cope With a Move

Divorce can bring about many changes and a common one is moving homes. Moving can be stressful for everyone in your family, especially your kids. They may not understand why you need to move. They may focus on the loss of friends, their school and the fact they may not see extended family members nearly as often. Counselingchildren.net has some suggestions for actions you can take to make the transition to a new home easier for your child.

1. Share the news

Don't keep it a secret. Encourage discussing the move and ask what your child is looking forward to and what his or her fears may be. List your child's concerns and find ways to address them. You may have your own concerns but when talking about the move, be upbeat so your child will see moving as an adventure.

2. Moving decisions and preparations

What does your child want his or her bedroom to look like? What color should it be? What should be hung on the walls? Your child may want to try something new or may be more comfortable with just replicating the current bedroom.

3. Timing

You may or may not have control over when you move. If possible move before the start of the school year. The summer break would allow your child to start to get used to the new neighborhood, new home town and to check out the schools. Moving in the middle of the school year probably will not help your child's grades and may give your child unwanted attention.

4. After school activities

Try to find activities, groups, clubs or organizations in the area that will be of interest to your child. Encourage joining activities so it may be easier to meet more kids, make more friends and get the satisfaction of doing something your child likes to do.

5. Encourage your child to express his or her emotions

A minor issue for an adult may be a major crisis for a child. Try to understand your child's feelings. Ask open ended questions, listen carefully and avoid giving advice unless your child asks for it.

6. Help your child find ways to cope

Try to be available to discuss concerns. Be ready to problem-solve or maybe role play a situation that is creating anxiety for your child. You can drive through the neighborhood, visit a new school and even try to find a friend or two for them before the move.

The decision to move can be hard on children, especially with all the other changes in their lives. Keep a close eye on their attitude and behavior so you can shepherd them through the process. If it is your best financial interest to move then it is the right choice and your children will adjust with your guidance.

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