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The 10-year-old's reading


  • MoxieTopics
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No advice, but your post reminded me of my parents reading the Berenstain Bears' Moving Day to me when I was three, before we moved down the street. They also walked me to the new house and we saw the outside and I knew ahead of time what our new house would look like. (Maybe it would help to show your daughter photos of the new house before you move? Not a parent, though, so have no idea if that's good advice.) I was excited because I thought we'd get the car in the driveway, too (our car was really old), and was disappointed when that wasn't the case.

Carry on!

Jen (yup, another one)

Again I will recommend _Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It) Moving_, by Judith Viorst.

Good luck with the move!


We moved from Chicago to the East Coast when my daughter was 13 months old and it was really really difficult. All the changes distrupted her sleep, her routine and on top of it, she was going through a separation anxiety phase. We hired a babysitter for a few days, for a couple of hours a day, but she didn't know the babysitter,so she screamed and screamed and at the end I had to take care of her while my husband unpacked. I kicked, kicked and again kicked myself for not paying our old nanny to fly with us and stay with us a for couple of weeks while we settled in.
Here's my advice to you, in addition to Moxie's and everybody else's. Buy a ticket for grandma/grandad or anybody else with a flexible schedule that you and your children know and trust to come out and stay with you for a week or so at your new place. When a couple with two small kids moved into the townhouse next to us, they brought grandma with them. For 5-6 days, the grandma played with the kids in the yard, took care of their basic needs, took them for walks around the neighborhood so the parents could unpack and settle. They are smart people and that's why they were so much less frazzled than we were when we moved.


We just moved (this month) from Chicago to Pasadena with our 3 year old and 9 month old and believe it or not, it went very smoothly.

One thing we did during the packing up - we actually were lucky enough to have movers pack us, but needed to get rid of a lot of stuff - is go through the toys and clothes together, and my 3 year old helped me pick out stuff to give to away (we told her to kids who didn't have any toys or clothes). And she was excited because she felt like she was really helping. We also let her hang out and watch the movers while they packed her room and made sure she knew that our boxes were going to meet us in California. She seemed to take it all fairly well.

We have made many trips to the park to meet new friends and although my 3 year old still asks about her friends in Chicago and likes to call them, she is so excited to have new kids to play with. Try to find parks, museums, zoos, - fun stuff to keep busy the first few weeks, and it will seem like vacation and kind of ease you into actually "living" in the new place.

I LOVE the idea of having grandma or someone come help - we just unpack a little here and there and still have boxes to get rid of and to get fully settled!


Since Cole is only 15 months old, he didn't need the explaining or prep work, but he was (and still is) kind of disrupted. The key for me has been having reasonable expectations. We're not even close to unpacked (our stuff has been here for less than two weeks) and our routines are only starting to approximate normal. I'm hoping to get there by Labor Day. Basically, I think my advice is to pace yourself anf try not to let it overwhelm you. Good luck!


We are moving back to Quebec (Canada) in a week with our 10 month-old son. I was going to write to you about advice on what to do to help him with the transition, so this post is timely for me. We always explain things to him and he sure understands a lot of it, but this is a really abstract topic for such a young baby. We are moving to another country, Iam starting to work and won't be at home like before and thus he has to go to a daycare with other babies (he has never seen another baby for more than 2 minutes, I don't go to playgroups so I have no idea if he will like it or not). Here is our plan: My father is driving to the US to get my son and me to go back to their house. My husband stays here to open the door to the movers who pack everything. Once our son is settled with the grandparents (he sees them not often but has been wit them recently) then take my parents' car and drive to our new city, 6 hours away from my parent's and leave him there for a week. Husband and I buy fridge, stove, washer, dryer, car, bed, receive boxes from movers and we clean and paint the new place. We then go back to my parents', spend a day and then go back to our new city with our son. The next day (monday), we go to the daycare so that our son can meet with everybody and the day after HE STARTS DAY CARE and we start to work. The last sentence is the "crazy" part of the plan I think but my job can't wait. I am looking forward to major glitches in his sleep and feeding and overall wellness as this is stressful to me and I can rationalize it, so I can't imagine how bad it will be for him...what can I do with him? I am prepared to come back early from work because he wants to see us before 4pm (we decided 9-4pm is the most time at daycare a young child like that should be)for 3-4 weeks, that is not a problem, but he has to start so I can at least show up in the morning at work... any advice welcomed...


I love your ideas Moxie.

I've made several big moves with young children. I moved from NYC to Brussels with a 2.5 year old. From Brussels to NYC with a 3.5 year old and 1 year old. And from NYC to Australia with a 5.5 year old and 2 year old. I don't really have any other ideas or tips - except to say that in my experience, young children are amazingly adaptable - so don't worry too much.

I think the hardest thing for Lisa's daughter will be moving away from her grandparents - but frequent phone calls, letters and photos can help (in addition to visits). Our last move meant that we actually moved closer to both my parents and my husband's parents. However, we have retained close contact with overseas friends so that the children (and in particular our oldest child) do not feel disconnected from the places and people we've left behind.

Lillian Kaiser

Be sure to say goodbye to the old house.

When my children (3) were young, we
moved thirteen times in fifteen years,
living in various temporary abodes until
we could find a permanent-for-that-location
roost. With so many displacements, I had
a set of rituals and adapted them as necessary.

Rehearsing these three or four days before
Moving Day is a great idea too.

On the last day, when everything is out, take
your kids into each room. Put your hand (and
theirs if they are old enough) on each wall,
from east to south to west to north. Just say " Goodbye
Wall and thank you for sheltering us". Look up at
the ceiling and wave, thanking it too. Leave in each
room the trace of your spirit breath by blowing a
farewell kiss to each wall and to the ceiling.

When you get to the new house, ask the walls and
the ceilings to shelter you safely.

If your kids are older, this can get as elaborate
as you want it to be, in whatever terms your
traditions supply. Later I witnessed many, many
times my kids incorporating this into their
" playing house" games with friends. It was very



I am in the middle of a big move with my 2.5 year old. This move has involved getting out of our old house 2 months (and counting…) before moving into the new house. Our routine has been fairly shattered by being gypsy-like guests in several people's homes, as well as by the fact that it's summer and it's light all the time.

We've had rough patches and smooth in this process. I'm anticipating finally being able to get into the new house in the next couple of weeks, and I'm looking forward to re-establishing routines and standards at that point. I've basically adopted an anything goes policy with bedtime, baths, and food during this period of upheaval. Clinginess, tantrums, and separation anxiety have all heightened to varying degrees at various times. Potty training went way backwards for a while, but now seems to be taking a giant step forward. Naps are haphazard and unreliable now, which makes bedtime the same.

Through all this, I've made a valiant attempt to make myself the source of 'home' for my daughter, so that within the shifting environments and cast of characters in our lives during this period, she KNOWS I'm there, I'm taking care of her, and we're working towards moving into the new house. I was able to take her to the new house a couple of months before we started the move, and show her her room, and talk to her about what color she wanted to paint it, etc. That has been helpful. I'm also planning to get kittens once we're settled in, and that has been something concrete and exciting for her to focus on.

I second the advice to do whatever you need to to maintain the feeling of closeness with friends and family you're leaving behind. I've been calling our friends in the old place at the drop of a hat, hoping that would help P. feel that she's still connected wtih them. I wish I'd thought of the scrapbook idea, but we have CDs and photos of them, and the cell phone is a godsend. I also did the reverse: we moved closer to a bunch of my family, so I really talked them up before the move, made sure we had lots of photos of them around and made them part of our daily conversations, so she'd feel like she was already connected with them when we got here.


Just went through this with an almost 2 year old and an almost 4 year old. They took it a whole lot better than my wife and I... I'm pretty sure we could have moved to a cave, a van, or under a big flat rock and they would not care so long as they have their stuffed animal of choice, full bellies, and plenty of time outside to run around and play. As with most new things, they think it's very exciting.

My oldest asked a few times "when are we going home." I just said that we have a new home, and someone else is in the old home. Seemed to be acceptable.


I'm getting ready to move from New Hampshire to Georgia with my 2 and 5 year old boys. My family lives in NH and my father has taken my 5 yr old every saturday for the past 3 years and my kids are excited but don't understand we cant just drive down the road anymore to see Papa. they think we can just get on a plane whenever and go. how do i explain this? and my father is taking this the hardest. we are all so close we call everyday after school and see him about every other day. and my father feels like i'm ripping his heart out by moving with my kids. i explain i'm buting a house i have a great job opportunity and tired of being a nobody with nothing i want to do the best for my kids and our future. but he wont talk to me now and when he does he yells and swears at me. he's crying all the time. my dad is 41 6'3 muscular man who is sobbing uncontrolably and how do i make it ok for everyone?

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Brendan Amorose

The best way to get things done is tell the kids about it, as soon as possible. One way of helping with getting them ready is showing them the new place. The internet can be very useful in this case, since you can take pictures and show the new house to them through the computer. One other useful feature of doing so is that you can get a good idea on how to get the moving and unpacking organized by using the photos as reference.

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Useful info. Hope to see more good posts in the future.

Kathrin Coarsey

This is a topic that's near to my heart... Many thanks! Where are your contact details though?

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  • My expertise is in helping people be who they want to be, with a specialty in how being a parent fits into everything else. I like people. I like parents. I think you're doing a fantastic job. The nitty-gritty of what you do with your kids is up to you, although I'm happy to post questions here to get data points of how you could try approaching different stages, because, let's face it, this shit is hard. As for me, I have two kids who sleep through the night and can tie their own shoes. I've been a married SAHM, a married freelance WAHM, a divorcing WOHM, a divorced WOHM, and now a WAHM again. I'm not buying the Mommy Wars and I'll come sit next to you no matter how you're feeding your kid. When in doubt, follow the money trail. And don't believe the hype.
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