Special To-Do List for Relocations

Photo © Jupiter

In Transition

Every school district has a “McKinney-Vento liaison,” whose role is to help children, such as those in homeless situations or without parents or guardians, with school-related issues. If you are in a temporary living situation, such as a shelter, a motel, or a friend’s home, and need more information about your children’s education while you are in transition, call this toll-free number: 1-800- 308-2145.

Moving from one place to another can be a tricky transition. Your children might be concerned about whether they can keep their clothes and toys. If the family is moving to a smaller space, they might wonder what it will be like to share a room. Young children might even think that you are not taking them with you! On the other hand, children can be resilient, taking cues from you on how to feel about living in a different place. You can help them with some simple strategies:

  • Before you move, continue your children’s routines as much as possible. Around the time of the move, try to give children an opportunity to say goodbye to their extended family, close friends, or important adults in their lives. Also, give your children the job of packing their own backpacks or tote bags with special items such as a blanket, toys, favorite books, pajamas, and a few video games. They’ll feel good about being an important part of your family team.
  • If you will be moving to a smaller space, have a yard or community sale of those items that you no longer need or that won’t fit into your new place. Start with clothes, toys, or furniture that your family has outgrown.
  • Once you get where you are going, involve everyone by unpacking together as a family and then taking a tour of your neighborhood. To help children adjust, if they need to share a room or a bathroom, help them choose a place to call their own where they can keep their favorite things, such as some blocks, books, or board games.
  • While getting settled, your children may have trouble accepting unfamiliar people or events. Let them know that this is OK. Try simple statements such as, “Everyone has feelings, just like you.” To help them adjust, point out things about the new place that are similar to your previous place. Then help them understand and appreciate the things that are different.

Next: Saving Together

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