IN THE NEWS: Hope Gibbs offers "6 Tips for an Easy Move with Kids"

Life at Home magazine, Century 21
December 30, 2009
Article by Robyn Friedman

Hope Gibbs thought her move from Clifton, Va. to Arlington, Va.-a mere 45 minutes away-would be easy. And it was for daughter Anna, 14, who found new friends on Facebook even before she moved. But Gibbs’ 10-year-old son Dylan found it more difficult.

“You’d have thought we moved to Mars,” says Gibbs. “He still wants to go home despite having made tons of friends.”

Moving is one of the most stressful events in life-even more so for kids. But you can help ease the transition. Here are some tips:

Involve children in planning. Help them find local Web sites so they can learn about schools, sports and events in their new city. The goal is to increase familiarity and build excitement for the new area.

Communicate. Take time to speak with children about the move—and particularly about their fears or concerns.

If possible, allow children to pick their own bedrooms. This makes it fun and exciting. Let them help decorate as well.

Keep a few prized possessions out of the boxes. Familiar items, such as a blanket or stuffed animal, bring comfort to skittish kids.

Encourage children to make new friends. Introduce them to children in the neighborhood. Invite a classmate over for a play date. Or throw a kiddie housewarming party!

Seek help from professionals. A knowledgeable real estate agent can help you learn the area, give you leads on local children’s activities and make the whole move go more smoothly.