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Planning Your Move

October 09, 1994|JULIE BAWDEN DAVIS

Even though moving is stressful, there are ways to make a move as comfortable and positive as possible for the entire family. Experts offer these suggestions:

--When possible, include the entire family in the process of choosing a place to live, such as what street, neighborhood, house and which schools. If feasible, go as a family to look for a house and then have a meeting to discuss the options.

--Have children pack their own belongings and let them choose their new rooms and how to decorate them. This will give them back a sense of control over their environment.

--Stay in the same school district when possible, because changing schools, especially during the teen years, can be very traumatic for children. Also avoid moving in the middle of a school year.

--Consider a family session with a therapist to discuss the move and the changes that each family member anticipates.

--Get children excited about their new home and less afraid to move by giving them pictures of the house and neighborhood.

--To comfort young children, bring pictures of their old home and friends to their new environment.

--Adults can make the move easier for themselves by finding a person they can connect with in the new place who can serve as an interpreter of local customs and direct them to necessary community services.

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