Sunday, June 24, 2012

When do you break the news to the kids? Some tips and our favorite book and video for kids who are moving

I find that it helps for kids to process the move when they see others that have been in similar situations in books and videos, but I highly suggest keeping the moving conversation really general ("Yep, we'll move on to another adventure in a little while,") until you get closer to the actual move date.  Remember, to a 3-year-old, a month is a REALLY long time.  We made the mistake of telling our young son 3 weeks out and every day for 21 days he would ask, "Are we moving today?"  Time is not a concept that toddlers can grasp.  A week, maybe two before pack-out, are totally enough for those under 4.  Having a calendar where they can mark off days helps them understand how much time is left.

Before, during and after the move is a good time to read books and watch videos on the subject.  Our favorite book is, The Berenstain Bears Moving Day.  The bears are moving from their forest cave in the mountains to their famous treehouse.  It teaches kids how to say goodbye to good friends and to meet new ones.  I especially like the scene when Brother Bear goes to sleep in his bed for the last time amid boxes piled up around the room.  I can totally smell the cardboard!

Little Bill's, Same Moon, Same Sun, Same Stars, is by far the best video about the subject that we've found.  Oh gosh, it makes me cry every time I watch it.  But don't let that turn you off!  It's a great clip about a neighbor of Little Bill's who is moving and how he doesn't want her to go.  She sings to him that they will forever be linked by just looking up at the sky, because no matter where you are in the world, you and your friends are still sharing the same sky together.  Sniff, sniff.

If you are interested in these items, there is a link to them in the sidebar to the right.

Spouses, what other books, videos or songs have you found that speak to our moving kids?  Please leave suggestions below!

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