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Moving with Kids – 7 Tips for Success

Toddler boy in a moving box

Moving with Kids – 7 Tips for Success

Moving to a new home can be a very exciting time! It opens the door to new adventures and opportunities, but even so, it’s possible that not everyone in the house will share in that enthusiasm. In spite of the best intentions, moving may be a disconcerting time for your children. You are not alone! Moving with kids can be stressful but don’t worry; there are practical steps you can take to ease your child’s fears on the journey to their new surroundings, circle of friends and school.  

Why is moving so stressful for kids?

Nearly 31 million people moved last year, according to the United States Census Bureau, and most families made a successful transition from one home to the next.

The key is to understand your child and address their concerns individually. For example, one child may be worried about making friends in a new school (extrovert), while another may be more concerned with being equal to their peers academically (introvert).

Whether your child is an extrovert or more introverted—concerned with making friends or getting top grades—parents can help build their children’s confidence when moving to a new home, town or state.  

7 Practical Tips to Make Moving with Kids Easier

  • Think Ahead:

    As a parent, think about the changes and the resources you’ll need to have in order before the big move. Will you need to identify new doctors or after-school care? What paperwork will the new school require and have you met the requirements for any new student checklists. Having your ducks in a row before the move ensures a smoother transition and makes it possible for you to prepare your child for changes to schedules and routines.

  • Generate Excitement:

    Let your child select paint colorings or furnishings for his or her new room. Getting children involved in the planning generates a sense of excitement about their next adventure and can help offset the fears your child may experience.

  • Get Involved:

    Don’t wait until you’ve moved into your new home to get involved in your neighborhood or community. Attending events with your children, such as fairs and parades, or even visiting farmer’s markets, parks and playgrounds can reduce some of the uncertainty surrounding the move and help your child to gain early confidence in their surroundings. It’s also an excellent opportunity for your child to meet new people and possibly start to establish friendships.

  • Plan for Moving Day:

    Have a plan for what you will do with your child on moving day. While older children can certainly help with the process, younger children may find it unnerving to watch things get packed into a box—even if they aren’t able to express those feelings. Others may simply become bored with the process. Depending on your child’s outlook and temperament, it may be wise to have them spend the day with a friend or grandparent.

  • Honor Existing Routines:

    Once in the new home, it’s easy to lose sight of normalcy during the frenetic pace of unpacking, but it’s an important time to provide continuity by adhering to regular schedules and traditions. Try to keep sight of bed and mealtimes. If you always read to your child before sleep or have pizza on Friday, it’s important to be extra vigilant about these routines and traditions. Doing so indicates to your child that the fundamental things have remained the same even if the surroundings have changed.

  • Expect the Unexpected:

    No matter how thoroughly you have prepared your child for a move, unanticipated issues are bound to arise. If your child suddenly starts having nightmares or throwing temper tantrums, for example, realize that unusual actions may be your child’s way of dealing with the stress, and with time, should subside.

  • Keep in Touch:

    Making new friendships can be tough for some little ones but leaving old friends may be harder. Find creative ways to help kids keep in touch with friends, maybe using social media, video chats, letter writing or summer parties, if possible.

The way children relate to the world is a reflection of how their parents relate. There is no doubt, moving can be stressful for everyone in the family, but you will increase the chances of it being an enjoyable and smooth transition with thoughtful planning, engaged children and a positive attitude.

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