Keeping the kids happy

Moving to a new area can be an unnerving experience for adults, but for the kids the experience can be downright traumatic. The prospect of leaving friends, school and familiar settings can cause serious problems at a time when parents already have their hands full. More than anything else, children fear the unknown; what will my new school be like? Who will my new friends be? Can I still be a scout? Will I ever see my old friends again? Will my new room be as nice as my old room? The more information you give a child in advance about his/her new environment, the more secure he’ll feel about the move. Here are some tips to smooth the transition.


If at all possible, visit the new school with your child, preferably while school is still in season, so your child can get a picture of it in his/her mind. Ask the principal and guidance counselor if there are special programmes at the start of a new school year fro new students. School officials may be able to refer you to one or two local kids who will serve as “buddies” once your child starts.


At the start of the home buying process, involve your children very directly - ask them what they like and dislike about your current home, how they would like to decorate tier new room. Open discussions not only generate excitement and give the child some sense of control, they help the parents define their home buying needs.


To keep children enthusiastic about the move during the time prior to moving day, involve them in the preparation process. This will ensure what they have a chance to deal with the move emotionally. Give them a photo of the new home to show their friends and a sketch of the floor plan of their rooms so they can plan where they want to place their belongings.


Give your children a chance to say good-bye to old friends. Allow for the possibility that your children may be depressed or moody for a while - just keep loving them through the process. Don’t keep asking them if they are making new friends - they will do this in their own time and when they feel comfortable. Encourage them to invite new friends around to meet you.


Animals need special care and handling to get to their new home. Here are a few tips on getting your menagerie from there to there.


In general, it is impractical to move an any aquariums with fish in it. Plan on giving the fish away with a promise to restock the aquarium when you arrive at your new home if you are travelling long distances. For local moves, fish should be put into well sealed plastic bags with sufficient water.


Think twice about taking your dog or cat with on a long cross country trip. Not only can animals get car-sick, but being cooped up in a car all day can make them nervous and can cause them to act strangely. They must be fed and watered (make sure you take a water dish) they have to make rest stops and they have to be on a leash to keep them from running off anytime the car door is opened. Some hotels/motels will not allow pets. Others have facilities for handling traveler’s pets. Call in advance and check your route. You may wish to make use of Animal movers.

If you are flying to your new destination, your animals can ride in the baggage compartment. In this instance, you will need a health certificate from your Vet. Call the airline in advance and request details about special holding cages/boxes. To make sure your pet is comfortable, it is a good idea to get some tranquilizers from your Vet. It’s also a good idea to put a piece of clothing with your scent into the box so it will feel more at home. It is sometimes a good idea to take your animals to kennels a few days before you can move to keep them out of the way during the packing process.


Collections of hamsters, birds, mice and such can be transported in the family car fairly easily. Make sure they have enough food and water and are out of drafts or extreme temperatures. It’s good to cover their cages with a cloth to keep them quiet and restful. Remember, a long trip can be even tougher for an animal then a human!


If you can’t bear the thought of leaving your pot plants, there are ways you can take them with you without hurting them!

  • A couple of weeks before you move, prune plants so they can be easily packed. This will make the plant easier to move and they will need less water & sunlight to survive.
  • A week before you move put the plants in a black plastic bag and spray a little bug spray in the bag before you put the plant in. Close the bag and place in a cool area overnight. This will kill any parasites or pests on the plant or in the soil.
  • The day before your move, secure the plants in cardboard containers use dampened newspaper to ensure they are held snugly in place. More moist paper should be put on top to keep them moist.
  • On the day, set the boxes aside and mark “Do not Load” so they won’t be taken on the moving van, if that is what you want!
  • When you are on the road, be careful where you park your car. Park in a shaded area, and leave the window open.
  • Unpack the plants as soon as you can after arriving at your new home. Take plants out through the bottom of the box in order to avoid braking stems. Let them get exposed to sunlight gradually if they have been in the removal van for a few days.
  • If you do not have space for the plants, taking cuttings. Place cuttings in a plastic bag with wet paper towels around them.
  • Plant as soon as possible.

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