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Some practical tips
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The family
One of the most stressful experiences for a family is moving into a new community. For a child or an adolescent frequent moves, or even one move in particular, can be especially difficult. One of the possible reasons behind a child with problems at school may result from moving home as this entails adapting to a new environment. Moving home can be even more complicated if accompanied by other important changes in the child's life, such as a death, a divorce, a loss of family income, or the need to change school.
Moving home breaks up friendships. For a new child starting school, it may initially seem that everyone has a special friend or have formed into groups containing a select few. The child has to adapt to a new timetable and a new curriculum and may be behind other children, or more advanced than they are, in certain classes or school years. A situation such as this can easily cause them to suffer from stress, anxiety or boredom.

Children of nursery school age or those just entering pre-school are particularly vulnerable when the family moves home because this stage of their development includes separation from their parents, adjusting to new figures of authority and adjusting to groups of classmates. Relocation can interfere with the normal process of separation from parents, causing the child to regress or to depend on the parents to an even greater extent.

Generally speaking, the older the child, the more difficult it will be to move home, as their group of friends are an important part of their life. Preadolescents and adolescents will continuously protest against the move and may ask permission to remain in their own neighborhood and live with the family of a friend. Some young people do not talk about how upset they are, so parents should be watchful for any warning signs that may indicate depression, these include a change in appetite, withdrawal, doing badly at school, irritability, changes in sleeping patterns and other dramatic changes in their behavior or moods.

Children that appear depressed by moving home may be reacting more to the stress involved than to the idea of relocation.

On occasions, one of the parents may be against the move and the children may pick up on this and react to the contention within the family.

If a child systematically shows signs of depression or tension, parents should ask their family physician, pediatrician, or the local medical services for a referral to a psychiatrist specializing in children and adolescents so that the emotional problems affecting the child as a result of stress can be evaluated and treated, a psychiatrist can also help parents learn how to make the transition and the new experience easier for the family as a whole.

The following steps can be taken to make moving home easier for both the children and the parents:

Give a clear explanation to the children about why the move is necessary.
Let the child become familiar with the new area as much as possible, this can be done using maps, photographs, or the daily newspaper.
Describe the advantages of the relocation so that the child can appreciate new factors, such as lakes, mountains or an amusement park.
After moving, get involved in activities for children that are organized locally by churches or synagogues, the PTA, brownie and scout organizations, the YMCA, etc.
If your son or daughter is in the last year of secondary school, consider the possibility of allowing them to stay with a trustworthy family until they finish the school year
Allow the children to participate in designing or decorating and furnishing their new bedrooms.
Help the children stay in contact with their friends from the old neighborhood through phone calls, letters, e-mail, and visits.

The more frequently a family moves, the more important its internal stability becomes. If parents pay enough attention to the problem and if professional help is received, in the case where this is warranted, moving home can become a positive growth experience for children, leading to greater self-confidence and improved social skills.
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