Angela, 10, describes the day she found out she was moving: "I was 7 years
old when my dad told me we were moving out of the city. I was really excited to finally
be getting my own room and maybe even a dog. But I was also very scared I wouldn't
make any friends or find my way around my new school."
Evan remembers the day he found out he was moving a little differently: "When I
had to move at the end of the sixth grade, it was because my parents were getting
divorced. It stunk. In
one summer, I had to go from Connecticut to California and get used to everything
being new — including living just with my mom."
Angela and Evan are only two of the many thousands of kids who move each year.
And the way they felt about the moves — scared,
excited, angry — are
just a few of the feelings kids have about moving.
Moving isn't easy for anyone, even for adults. And while moving can be a time for
some great new things — like your own room or a new place to explore —
it can also be a time that's sad
and stressful, too. Here
are some ways to make a move a little easier.
Talk It Out
When you find out that you're moving, a million thoughts may race through your
head. The next place those thoughts should go is simple: out of your mouth! If you're
afraid that you won't make new friends, nervous about riding the bus with 30 new kids,
or upset because you have to give up your position as captain of the soccer team,
don't keep it to yourself. Whatever you're feeling, talk to your mom or dad about
it. They'll probably have some good ideas and suggestions.
If you're moving because your parents are getting divorced or because someone died, your family might be
under a lot of stress. It's tough to see a parent who's upset, so you might think
the best thing would be to keep your feelings to yourself.
But the truth is that it's always better to talk
about your feelings, even if your parent seems to have a lot of his or her own
worries. Your parent will be glad you shared your feelings — and so will you.
Check Things Out
Finding out about the new place you'll be living can make you feel better for a
couple of reasons. First, you'll feel less nervous when you know what to expect, and
second, you may start getting a little excited about the new place you're headed to.
If you are going to be moving to a town or city nearby, ask a parent to drive you
around so you can check things out. Or check out the new place online!
The first thing you'll want to do is see your new house or apartment. If the house
or apartment is new, or if nobody is living there, your parent may be able to show
you around. This will give you a chance to think about how you want your room to look.
And if you run into any kids who live on the street or in the apartment building and
you feel like it, say hi to them and introduce yourself. Maybe they'll be future friends.
Your new school is another important stop on this tour. Maybe your mom or dad can
arrange a visit, so you'll know what it looks like inside. You might even be able
to ask a teacher or school aide to give you a tour so you'll be able to find your
way around the school on your first day. If you're into band, sports, or other clubs,
ask which activities are offered at your new school — and what to do if you
want to join.
If you're moving far away to another part of the country, or even a different part
of the world, you'll need to check things out in a different way. Try an Internet
search to find out about your new town. You also can visit your library and check
for books on that city or state.
Pack It Up
Before you move, your house will probably be full of chaos and boxes. You might
want to ask your parent if you can pack a special box of your favorite stuff —
stuff you'll want to have as soon as you get there. This can include personal items,
such as stuffed animals, photos, and other stuff that will make you feel at home.
It's also a wise idea to include stuff you'll need the first night, such as sheets
for your bed, a pillow, pajamas, toothbrush, and other must-haves. Ask that this box
be marked with your name on it, so you can grab it when it comes off the moving truck.
Once you've taken care of your most precious stuff, ask if you can help with other
moving tasks. Your parents will just love you for it! There's so much to do when a
Preparing for Goodbye
It's sad to say goodbye to friends, family, and neighbors. You can make it less
sad if you load up your cellphone with e-mail addresses, home addresses, and
phone numbers. You also can get a big blank book and ask your friends to fill it with
If you have a camera or video camera, take lots of pictures or videos of your friends,
your favorite places, and your neighborhood. You can even put together a scrapbook
or shoebox full of things that remind you of your hometown and all your friends.
When moving day finally comes, it's OK to feel sad. Many people cry when they leave
to move somewhere new. Don't be surprised if grown-ups cry a little, too.
But what do you do when you get there? The grown-ups will probably be pretty busy
trying to unpack and set up the new household.
When you get to your new house, unpack your special box of favorite stuff. That
will help you feel more at home. You can even hang up pictures of your friends and
favorite places to remind you of them. Once again, if you offer to help with the unpacking,
your mom or dad will be glad for the help.
Settling in might take a little while. You might wake up in your new room and think,
"Where am I?" Take it slow and give the new place a chance. Once your house is growing
on you, it will probably be time to start at your new school. You need patience there,
too. You might feel funny if you're the new kid, especially if you start school during
the year instead of in the fall.
Little by little, you'll make friends and feel at home in your new town. Maybe
you were taking karate before, so you'll want to find a new karate school where you
can keep working on your green belt. Or maybe being in a new place will inspire you
to try something new — like art classes, guitar lessons, or the basketball team.
The more kids you meet, the more your new town will feel like home.
And don't forget to keep in touch with your old pals. It can be fun to text and
video chat — and it can even be fun to send letters or postcards. Maybe your
best friend from your old town will be able to visit you sometime. Then you can show
off your new city and introduce him or her to your new friends. Old friends and new
friends — what a great combination!