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This is one of a series of Lesson-6 articles
on howtoparent effectively and guard kids from inheriting
psychological wounds and ignorance.
For perspective, first watch this brief YouTube video on how to improve your
The video mentions eight lessons in this self-improvement Web site - I've
reduced that to seven.
of adjustment tasks that peers in intact biofamilies don't encounter.
One of these tasks occurs when an ex mate decides to move significantly
closer or farther away from their child/ren's "other home."
This move can
affect child visitations; finances; household roles, rules, and rituals;
holidays; vacations; and possibly child custody and parenting agreements. Household relocations range from well-managed and peaceful to chaotic and conflictual.
A common reason for household relocations is change in a parent's job and/or
career. Other reasons are to care for an adult's disabled or aging parent/s, and/or
to move closer to family. Some moves are triggered by a mix of environmental
conditions (e.g. weather, crime, and urban decay). Some moves are voluntary,
and others are forced by economic, health, or other necessity. Regardless of
the reasons, all household moves disturb the multi-generational
This article for divorcing-family and stepfamily adults...
defines a "successful relocation
Premise - "Successful" means that
person significantly affected (in their opinion) by the move's outcome eventually feels (a)
"I got my key needs met well enough, (b) in a way that felt good enough
to me throughout the process." How does this compare to your definition
of a "successful household relocation"?
Some key factors combine to determine whether a household relocation will be
relatively smooth or stressful:
The stability of the two-home system before
the move (chaotic > stable)
Family members' attitudes about the move
(motivated and harmonious > conflictual and resistant)
Who makes the decisions in each of the two
How recently the household members
have moved before (never > recently)
How well affected kids and
adults have grieved prior losses (incomplete > complete)
How many adults and kids are affected by the
move (few > many)
How well planned the move is (unplanned and
sudden > well planned in both homes)
If you feel that planning a household move affecting minor kids is "not all that complex,"
or "won't change too many things for us," scan this...
Whether your household is moving or your kids' other home is,
there are many topics that will
need cooperative discussion
among your family members. The keys to a successful relocation plan
are each affected adult and child feeling...
that their needs and
opinions have been thoroughly considered,
confidence about how well family members can
problem-solve together; and that...
inevitable compromises are "fair enough"
Discuss each of the items below with other family adults and supporters to see
how well prepared you are for this change in your multi-generational family system. Consider
calling a family meeting to see where you all stand on these issues:
_ 1) Everyone in both
homes affected by this move knows why and when it will
Each of our family adults understands _ the concept of our
and _ how to diagram our family's structure.
_ 3) Each child
affected by the move has had ample chances to ask questions and vent about the
move and its changes.
_ 4) All our family
adults are clear and agreed on how this move will affect child
_ 5) All family adults
are clear and agreed on how this move will affect child custody
_ 6) All family adults
are clear and agreed on how this move will affect major
_ 8) All family adults
are clear and agreed on how this move will affect existing _
_ orders of protection, and _ wills.
_ 9) All our family
adults are clear and agreed on how this move will affect our kids' education, tutoring,
_ 10) All family adults
are clear and agreed on what
intangible losses (broken bonds) this move will cause each affected child and adult.
Our adults are clear on how we'll
each child and adult is
_ 12) All family adults
are clear and agreed on how this move will affect our kids' medical and other insurance coverages
_ 13) All family adults
are clear and agreed on how we all will handle any significantvalues and
that occur because of this move.
_ 14) This move will
not seriously stress any marriage in our family
_ 15) No one thinks
this relocation will change our family's membership (who's included)
_ 16) We agree that
this relocation will not significantly degrade our two-home family's
_ 17) We
adults have discussed how this move will affect each person's dreams
and hopes for the future
_ 18) We have all
discussed how this move will affect the relationships among our kinfolk,
including cousins and adult siblings.
_ 19) The adults in each
home are clear and stable on their current
_ 20) We adults have
agreed on a family
to guide us through any confusions and problems related to this
_ 21) Our
family adults are clear and agreed on how we will we judge
if this move is successful.
What's your reaction to this move-planning checklist? Did it create a to-do
list for your adults? If so, what do you need to do now? Options - circle
numbers in the checklist that should get some attention now. Rank-order them in
importance. For each such item, who should take what action?
For many reasons, a
divorcing parent may need to
move their home closer or farther from their child/ren's "other home." Such
moves can be well-planned and cooperative or chaotic and stressful. This
Lesson-6 article for family adults and supporters offers...
a definition of a "successful relocation,"
a summary of requisites for q successful
a 21-item checklist
of topics family adults and kids need to discuss to make an effective relocation
and reorganization plan..