Change in any form can be hard (not just for children!) but moving to somewhere new and leaving people you love can be particularly difficult for little ones. Our move to Tasmania is happening next week and Ivy is equal parts excited and worried (me too!)—but she's doing her best to be optimistic.
Kudos and credit go to these five books for helping her to cope. I started reading them to her before we let her know about the move, and they'll come along with us to be read again in our new home.
Boomer's Big Day
The events of moving day seen through the eyes of the family dog, who really doesn’t know what’s going on! I found this useful to read first up, because it's not about feelings, just a running tale of what’s happening and what he’s thinking.
It was a great start for a discussion on what's involved in moving and as reassurance that all our ‘special things’ will be coming with us.
Bad Bye, Good Bye
A simple story of a young boy expressing his feelings and thoughts on moving day in only four words per page.
This one has been really useful for identifying feelings about moving and making room for talking about the opportunities it will present.
Alexander Who’s Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going To Move
Alexander does not want to move. Life is pretty good right here and who knows what’s waiting for him (if anything!) thousands of miles away. He doesn’t want to leave his friends or the places where he made important memories (like how to recognise poison Ivy).
This is a longer story but wonderfully validating—it’s ok to be sad, it’s ok to miss people and places and things, and it’s ok to not want to go. It's been a great conversation starter about people and places we're going to miss and about being comforted by lovely memories.
The tale of a young girl who moves to the city, and doesn’t really like what it has to offer.
Ivy was already in love with this book before we decided to move so it was a great ‘read it before you need it’ book. It has led to us talking about how things might be different and about looking for new opportunities to be happy.
Do You Know Millie?
Sarah Is worried about moving—after all she doesn’t know anyone in the city! Her friend tells her not to worry because Millie lives in the city and Millie will be her friend. So Sarah asks everyone she sees if they know Millie.
No one does, but all’s well in the end—it turns out that Millie (a Millie anyway) lives next door.
I particularly like this one because the focus isn't on the move, it's more on the opportunity to make new friends.
These books work for kids aged 3 to around 8-years-old (although Alexander could be used for older kids). They've certainly helped Ivy to process her feelings and give words to her thoughts. It's still hard, but it sure helps to have some other kids' experiences to draw on. Wish us luck!!