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Moving with children

1. Explain where you are moving and why you are moving.

Be short and to the point when trying to explain the move to younger children. Use words they can understand such as, "Daddy got a promotion at work and we're moving to where his new office will be", or "Since your grandfather got sick, Grandma needs our help. We're moving to be closer to them", or also "We need a much bigger house and we've found a place that has what we all need."

2. Highlight benefits of moving that your kids can understand.

For example, if you say that that you're moving to another town because the schools there are better, may likely not have much meaning to younger children. However, pointing out that the new schools will have more activities your child will enjoy, such as more sports programs if your child likes sports or a band if your child plays an instrument (or wants to), are reasons that your kids can comprehend and look forward to.

3. Use maps and pictures as illustration to make the move more concrete.

If your children can understand maps, have one that shows your new community where you are moving to. Together, locate where you will be living and places of interest around your new place. If you are moving far, have a map that shows where you are now and where you're moving. Help them trace the distance and even plot out a route you might take when moving from here to there. If possible, have photographs of the community and your new home that your kids can appreciate.

4. Reassure them that their life won't change dramatically.

Do point out the things that you know will be basically the same in their new home and community, such as having a backyard to play in and going to school. Explain that pets and favorite toys or belongings will go with them. If there are lessons or other activities your kids enjoy now, assure them that you'll find new instructors or similar programs for them in your new community.

What you have to take with you during moving process

Here's a checklist of things to take in the car with you:

Baby

Suitable clothing Diaper or utility bag Blankets Disposable diapers Nursers with plastic throwaway liners, nipples and pacifiers Baby food, formula, fruit juice, water and a cap opener Favorite cuddle toy Baby toiletries such as powder, lotion, oil and cotton balls Safety-approved infant car seat First-aid kit (Discuss with your pediatrician any medications you should have on hand. Include a thermometer, baby pain reliever and a small hot water bottle, which also can be used as an ice bag.)

Toddler

Collapsible stroller Child's portable car toilet Safety-approved car seat Favorite small toy

Elementary to Preteen

Children in their elementary and preteen years are easier to keep content during a long trip. Provide them with a few travel games, coloring books and comic books. Let them visit the local variety store for ideas.

Teenager

Teenagers probably will have their own ideas of travel entertainment, but might enjoy favorite books or travel games. Many just enjoy watching the scenery.