Whether it's across the country or down the block, moving can be stressful. Experts agree this is particularly true for young children, who often fear leaving their friends and familiar surroundings for a new home. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 10 million children relocate each year, leaving many parents to struggle with how to create a smooth move for their kids.
Allied Van Lines has teamed up with Thomas Olkowski, Ph.D., a top child psychologist and author of "Moving with Children," to offer expert advice designed to help parents ease their youngsters through the relocation process.
"While moving to a new home is exciting, it often means a new school, new friends and a whole new life for children," says Dr. Olkowski. "It's natural for them to feel nervous. Luckily, there are a few simple steps parents can take to calm their child's fears and make the transition easier for the whole family."
• Tell children about the move as soon as possible-a child should never overhear the news by accident.
• Schedule regular family meeting times to discuss the move with kids, sharing the details, encouraging their questions and listening to their suggestions.
• Position the relocation as an exciting adventure with fun opportunities for the family.
• For younger children, consider reading children's books about moving, and talk about the pictures and how the people in the pictures may be feeling.
• Before moving to a new home, it is critical that children have a chance to say goodbye. Consider hosting a moving party and give children an opportunity to create scrapbooks and photo albums with their friends.
• Provide children with address books and autograph books to use when saying goodbye.