April 29, 2010

Preparing Children for Moving

As we drove out our driveway for the last time and rounded the corner past the grocery store, my six year-old asked, "Well, can we at least keep the same Krogers?"

That question just about broke my heart. We were leaving a church we'd been at for nine years
-- the only one my daughter had ever known-- and were headed to our new house. This house would actually be ours, because our new appointment didn't have a parsonage, so I was happy about the move. But to my child, moving meant leaving her friends, her school, her church--most everything and everyone she knew. So being able to still go to the same grocery was a pretty big deal, and we did keep shopping there for a long time.

And, of course, she made new friends and was able to maintain a connection with a couple of her friends, still to this day, over 15 years later.

So this particular story has a happy ending, but other stories have different endings.

How do you prepare your kids for moving? What do you do to keep security and stability in their lives?



  1. After the appointment was "official," my husband and I took our children to let them see their new neighborhood, school, public library, pool, recreation sites, etc. Then we'd have lunch at a local favorite spot.

    Our son and daughter were involved in the entire packing and moving process. We all packed a travel bag for clothes and necessities (kind of like going on vacation) for the last few days before the move. Then we exited the parsonage ahead of schedule, spent a couple of nights in a hotel where the kids got to have friends spend the night, swim, play video games, and have a nice send-off.

    Now our kids are in the their late 20s, active in their local UMCs, have professional careers, and LOVE telling moving, parsonage, and church stories at family gatherings! It was tough, moving and starting over, but it was worth it! I think they would tell you the same thing.

  2. My dad was a pastor and we moved a lo, especially when I was younger. The moving definitely took its toll on me, but one thing I gained was an acute sensitivity to the fact that God alone is stable. Not a bad lesson to learn.