The Ultimate Guide for Moving with Kids

Talia Lee-
June 12, 2024

Moving is always overwhelming, but it can be even more challenging when kids are involved. Whether they’re changing schools, leaving family behind, or parting with their childhood bedroom, the experience can be stressful and difficult for a child. However, with proper preparation, you can ease their transition and make the move smoother for everyone.

If your children are old enough to understand, start by sitting them down and explaining the move. Clearly communicate the reasons, whether it’s a job relocation, moving closer to family, or a desire for a new location. Ensure the information is age-appropriate to avoid overwhelming them. Allow ample time for this conversation, encouraging your kids to ask questions both during and after the discussion. It’s important to validate their feelings, whether they are excited or anxious, by reassuring them that you understand and are there for them.

Highlight the positives of the move, such as a bigger house, their own room, a larger backyard, or a playroom. Additionally, consider reading a book about moving with your kids to provide an example of another child’s moving experience, which can help them better understand and cope with the change.

To help your kids feel involved in the moving process, engage them in age-appropriate tasks. They can assist with packing, moving, or labeling boxes, and you might even let them pack up their own rooms. If they are too young to help, turn extra boxes into forts for them to play in while you pack. Once you arrive at your new home, let your kids have a say in how they set up their new rooms and even allow them to choose the room color. This involvement will help them feel included and more at home in the new place.

If your kids are school-age or moving away from family, talk to them about saying goodbye or “see you later.” If you’re not moving too far, reassure them that they can visit friends and family. However, if you’re moving far away, help them prepare for goodbyes. Ask if they’d like to spend time with their friends one last time or create something to remember them by. Additionally, prepare them for saying goodbye to their home. They might want to take pictures to remember it or walk through the house to say goodbye to each room. These steps can provide your kids with a sense of closure and help ease the stress of moving.

While packing your child’s room, create a “first night” bag together. Explain that this bag will contain everything they need for their first night in the new home. Let them choose their favorite pajamas and any comfort items, such as stuffed animals or toys, they want to have with them. Knowing they’ll have their cherished items at bedtime can help ease their transition and make them feel more secure in the new environment.

Whether it’s dinner time, bath time, or bedtime, maintaining your regular routines is crucial to prevent your child from feeling more unsettled than they already might be. Adhering to familiar routines can help your child experience a sense of normalcy in the new home.

During the moving process, consider arranging childcare. This can reduce stress for both you and your kids. Instead of having them amidst the chaos of moving, a sitter can take them to explore the new local park or other nearby attractions. This distraction not only keeps them occupied but also helps them get excited about their new home.

Finally, be patient with your kids and give them time to adjust to the new environment. Regardless of age, adapting to a new place takes time, so allow your kids the space to settle back into routines and get accustomed to everything.

By following these tips, moving into a new home with your kids can be less stressful for everyone. Before long, the new place will start to feel like home for the whole family.

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