PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
When Your Family Moves: On The Bright Side

"I have moved and because of it, I broke down and cried. But now, where I moved, I've met lots of friends."

"Three years ago I moved from New York to San Francisco. It was hard at first but now I am used to being the only Jewish girl in my class."

"I've moved. I missed my friends, but it was a great new experience."

"I moved from another country in the fourth grade. I am now going to ninth grade and I feel proud of myself for making friends and keeping them!"

Moving can make you feel like your life is about to break into pieces and you'll never be happy again. But the whole process gets MUCH easier if you think positive, and before you say your first goodbye or pack your first box, it's important to get in the right frame of mind. Here are some tips:

Try not to fear change. Change can be scary, sure, but it can be exciting too! Just like a new pair of shoes is more fun to put on than an old pair, and a new video game is more thrilling than one you've played a jillion times, moving to a different place means new feelings, opportunities, and experiences. Think about some of the changes there have been in your life so far, like moving up a grade or getting glasses, and how these changes made things worse, better, or both. You'll probably find that the good things that came out of them outweighed the bad ones.

Be an adventurer. Try to see the upcoming move as an adventure. Lara Croft and Indiana Jones aren't afraid of seeking out new places and people, so why should you? When you move, there's a whole new landscape to explore. It opens you up to a little bit more of the world, and helps you experience things you've only read about or never even heard of. Your current home is a great place-but how boring would it be to stay there forever?

Change negatives to positives. When you get the news that your family is going to move, you might be upset or angry, and you'll probably start thinking of all the things you'll miss about where you live. If you find yourself concentrating on negative thoughts, try to change them into positives. Here are some examples:

    Negative: "We're moving from the snow belt to a place that has mild winters. I'll miss skiing and sledding!"

    Positive: "I definitely won't miss shoveling the driveway in winter, and I'll be able to go swimming almost all year long! When I feel the urge to ski, maybe we can take a vacation up in the mountains."

    Negative: "I'm really going to miss my friends and the soccer games we play in the backyard. Our new home is in the city and doesn't even have a backyard, just a big balcony!"

    Positive: "The city we're moving to has a great youth soccer league, and I can make friends with my teammates. Plus, I won't have to mow the backyard every Saturday, and I can always call and e-mail my old friends."

Talk things out. Make sure you communicate openly with your parents, not only about the details of the move -- like when it will happen and how to get ready -- but also about your emotions. Are you nervous? Angry? Frightened? Excited? Confused? Everyone in your family might be experiencing the same or similar state of mind. Things can get hectic, but try to get a parent to sit down with you and talk about how you're feeling. It helps to write down questions and thoughts as they come to you so you can make sure everything gets covered.

Here's some more advice from IML'ers:

  • "Just look at the positive side: you can start your life over and get a lot of new friends, but be yourself!!!"

  • "My advice would be to take things easy and don't make a big thing out of it. You have to think positive. Don't think about the things you are leaving but of the things you are about to meet."

  • "Talk to your parents. Tell them how you feel and ask them how they would feel in your position."

  • "To get things off my mind I either work out or listen to music. Or do something I really like. Just think of the best things to come, and be happy about what has happened!"

  • "Don't get stressed. Just don't think about your friends that you will miss. Think about being able to start a new school and all your new friends."

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