The Wilde Family
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We had planned to wait to tell them until we had time to sit down and explain all the details about why we were moving for my husbands job and the fun things they'd be able to do. However, our plan changed when the day came for my husband and I to make the 2 hour drive to meet with a realtor in our new town, Chamberlain. We had arranged for a friend to get the kids after school, but both children weren't feeling well that morning so we decided to take them with us. We had to quickly explain that we were going to the town that we were planning to move to for Daddy's job. It wasn't our ideal way of telling them, but it gave us a whole day of open dialogue to discuss the situation. They felt really included as they were getting all the information about our new town the same time that we were. Our realtor has children, so she was very helpful in driving us by the pool, parks, and library, and she showed us the school playgrounds and where the buses dropped off and picked up each day.
How did you and your family prepare?
We had very little time to get our house on the market as my husband moved about 2 weeks after we decided that the job and community were the right fit for us. The kids and I stayed until the house sold in Sioux Falls and we traveled back and forth to see each other. I bought a few books about moving and encouraged my daughter, who is 7 and was having a harder time with the move, to keep a diary of her feelings and questions. We talked a lot about feelings. I had a few friends that had moved when they were about my kids' age talk to them about their experiences, and that helped a lot. Having them talk with someone that had moved helped my daughter realize that she could still keep the friends that she'd made in Sioux Falls. We made sure to keep the addresses of her friends from school and had a play-date with a few friends right before the move. Our realtor was also great and introduced her daughters to the kids so they would know some familiar faces at school.
What advice do you have for families in a similar situation?
I'd say just be as honest and open as possible. Encourage questions and be prepared for some hard ones. Get to know the area that you are moving to as much as possible, and get involved with your new community. I went on Facebook and found many business and community pages including the Parks and Recreation page, so we enrolled both kids in swimming lessons the first week we were here. We also attended a lot of community events over the Fourth of July holiday.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Throughout our initial trip there were lots of questions, a few tears regarding leaving friends and cousins, however we kept talking about things and encouraged them to ask any questions they had at any time. There have been a lot of questions that we haven't had the answers to right away, but moving to a smaller community has been great as everyone has been so friendly and helpful. We stopped by the school to drop off our registration papers and the secretary already knew their names and grade levels after speaking with my husband about a month beforehand. She immediately made them feel important and special. We will travel back to Sioux Falls often as I have a business there, so they will still have the connection to many friends and our family there. We've tried to let them know that just because we have moved, it doesn't mean we have to forget about our old neighbors and friends. We get to keep our old friends and make new ones. It's not goodbye, it's just "until next time."