Tuesday, October 22, 2013

31 Days: Home Relocation With Children

Let me introduce you to one of the bravest ten year old kids I know.

Uprooted from his school and his friends and his neighborhood, and plopped into a new city, with a new house and a new neighborhood, then shipped off to a new school to make new friends.

It cannot be easy for Sam.

And yet, every day, he leaves for school with a smile on his face. And every day, he'll tell me that school was awesome.

He is taking piano classes, for the first time.

He is taking cartooning classes, for the first time.

We've had a lot of "firsts" since the move, and Sam has embraced them all as a new adventure.

It wasn't always so happy.

The night we broke the news to Sam, he got tears in his eyes and said "I'm not happy about this!"

He shared a lot of his fears with us. We talked...a lot.

Here are just a few things we did to make the home relocation process a little easier on our youngest son:

*We took Sam on every one of our house hunting trips, and he became better than the realtor at showing me all the positives and negatives of the houses we toured. Such a trooper! Each visit to Pittsburgh made the transition a little easier.

*We communicated the situation to his teacher early in the process, and she did a wonderful job helping Sam prepare for the move.

*We let Sam decorate his room just the way he wanted. He picked out new bedding, new colors, new posters. 

*We bought Sam a new bike for his birthday so that he could easily explore his new neighborhood.

*We spent the summer and fall exploring the attractions...zoo, ball park, downtown, state parks. All of these experiences helped Sam to connect with the town and gave him lots of experiences to share with his classmates.

*We continued to do the things that our family always does together...cookouts, trips to the park, walks, church, movie nights. All of these things helped the days feel "normal".

*We continue to talk about the friends and places we left behind, and keep the happy memories alive.

*We pray together, every morning, before the bus comes.

* We participate fully in everything that the school has to offer...PTA, Fall Family Night, book fair, volunteer opportunities, we are there.

*We ask questions and value opinions...how did you like that restaurant? What did you think of church today? What's your favorite place to visit? Who is the funniest kid in your class?

I wish there was one secret formula to make home relocation easy and stress free for children of all ages. There is not. But thus far, we've had positive experiences, and we're thankful that our sons have embraced this new adventure.

Tomorrow, I will have a guest blogger here to speak about home relocation for young adults, so stop back!


  1. This plan is excellent. You did a wonderful job of incorporating your family into the immediate environment. Growing up, corporate relocating was my family's experience. They called us "GE Gypsies;" we started school, brand new, seven times before I graduated from high school. Your plan is exactly right. By investigating the area around you, and becoming a part of the school's events, you make the new place part of your family's history. My mother did the same things you chose to do and we kids often knew more about the towns we lived in than the locals. Sam will know how to adjust to change, think on his feet in new situations, and be able to make friends everywhere when he grows up. You just have to do the best that you can in every situation, and pray. It worked out very well for my siblings and me. Well done!