Preparing Children for a Move

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One of our biggest concerns about moving from Michigan to Florida was our children’s adjustment.  Most specifically moving them away from family.  For the past several years my parents have lived down the street from us.  The older boys were pretty used to being able to hop on their bikes during the summer months and head down to Grandpa & Grandma’s.

Talking to the Kids About a Move

The first thing we did, as soon as we were seriously contemplating a move, was to talk to the children about it.  Perhaps we talked to them a bit early, however, they would have picked up on the whispered conversations.  They always do.  Plus, I was concerned that with our adoption history that the kids might be worried that we were going to go to Florida without them!  I know that sounds irrational and illogical to you and me, but to some children children who have been adopted they never really get the concept that being in a family means being in a family forever.  Really and truly forever.

The downside of sharing the news early was that the children had lots of questions, questions that we didn’t really have answers to right away.  The upside was that we had plenty of time to talk about the move, and address their fears and concerns.  We even had time to talk about moving during some therapy sessions.  The younger kids were mostly excited.  Their experience with Florida was beautiful beaches, LegoLand and Sea World.  Truthfully it was a pretty easy sell!

The older boys had more concerns.  They had more friends that they were leaving behind and spent more time with my parents.  Again, we had lots of time to talk about their fears and concerns.

Involve the Kids in Your Move

In July we took the three older kids on a house hunting trip with us.  There were several reasons why this worked out well for us:

* They felt like an integral part in an important decision
* They were able to explore our new area a bit
* We had fun together in our new area
* We had extra time to talk and work through those scary/excited feelings

Thankfully our extended family is committed to keeping a strong connection.  Our kids can Face Time/Skype grandparents, my kids love to play Words with Friends with my mom, and text cousins.

No, it’s not the same as being able to hop on a bike, or meet for ice cream.  But being over 1,000 miles apart no longer means letters are the only option for communication.

Find Kid Activities

I spent some time googling different activities that were available in Tampa.  Jonah and Levi are signed up for soccer and participated in evaluations the first week we were here.  Jacob is already playing baseball, he started the first week we were here as well.

Baseball has been a Godsend, as Jacob was able to immediately make friends and in turn Bob and I have started making friends as well.  We have been looking at different TaeKwonDo schools and Jacob and Sarah will start at the beginning of November.

Of course we have been visiting local parishes and hope to get settled and all get involved very soon.

One of the most important gifts we can give our children is growing up with a stable foundation in their faith and their family.  That foundation goes with us no matter where we are on the planet.

Here are some picture books that may be helpful as you prepare your children for a move! Widgets

Be sure to check out the rest of the Autumn 2013 Hopscotch!



  1. Jessica says

    Family (and Greg’s job) are what keep us in CT. I am enjoying this series and am so glad you followed your dreams, although I really think that God had a hand in this because when I look at all your smiling faces, and read about your experience, it is obvious to me that He is present!

  2. James Harrison says

    Yes, its a great plan if anyone share their moving process, planning with their kids. As well involve kids in the planning & packing phase so that they will take an interest in moving process.

  3. Berta H. says

    Take the time to answer any question the children have about the move. How big or small it might seem. A child can get very nervous or even frustrated when a question goes unanswered and his or her mind starts thinking of another explanation.

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