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9 Tips for Healthy Parenting During a Move

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

If moving has you at your wits end, imagine how your kids feel.

Like adults, kids can get over-stressed. But, you can do a lot to ease the transition for them, which will make the move a lot more pleasant for everyone.

  • Give your kids the facts. Have an age-appropriate conversation with your kids about the specifics of the move and what they can expect.
  • Let them have a job. Give your children a special role in the move, depending on their ages. Younger kids can pack snacks or take care of the pet, for example, while older children can help plan the drive. Having an important job gives them something besides their stress to focus on.
  • Bring Teddy. Especially for the really little ones, a favorite toy or blanket will help ease the anxiety when your kids are in an unfamiliar situation.
  • Keep smiling. Children look to you for clues as to how to react in different situations. Your positive attitude will go a long way toward keeping their stress levels low.
  • Let it slide. Tantrums, sulking or extra-special grumpiness may all be related to the stress of the move. Understanding where these behaviors are coming from might make it a little easier for you to stay calm and maybe let a grumpy word or two slide.
  • Encourage your kids to express themselves. Get your children talking about the move. Maybe your kids express themselves best through imaginative play or drawing. No matter how they communicate, make sure your children know you're there to talk and answer their questions.
  • Stick to your routines. Routines give a child a sense of security and stability. Keep having those family dinners or your Sunday morning pancake breakfast. When it's not possible, remind your child that once you are settled in your new home, things will go back to normal.
  • Have fun. Plan breaks so your children have something to look forward to each day.
  • Celebrate your new home. Organize something fun to do when you arrive at your new place. Have a picnic in your living room, complete with cake and candles, to celebrate your first meal at home. Help your children create great first memories of their new home.

Manage your next move and knock stress out of the picture by checking out all of the information and resources available through Military OneSource.

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