Helping Your Child Cope with a Pending Move

Dated: April 11 2021

Views: 609

A child’s drawing of a house and a family.

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Moving is hard and stressful work, especially if the whole family is involved. You need to find a new home, and you are getting ready to leave your entire life behind to start a new chapter. This can be hard on the kids as they usually prefer stability and find it challenging to adapt to changes. To ease both their and your anxiety, we have prepared advice about helping your child cope with a pending move.

Inform them about the move

The first step to making the move more manageable is to avoid keeping your children in the dark about it. You should give them enough time to process the upcoming change and prepare them to say goodbye to their current home. It's vital that you, as a parent, break this news to them. Create a safe space, sit down as a family, and talk it through. Depending on your children’s age and the situation, you can expect various reactions - from excitement to crying and denial. All responses are normal and a part of the process, so try to be as patient as possible

Don’t spare them the details

Once you inform your child about the move, the sharing of information sh

ouldn’t stop there. Kids often feel powerless when moving as they are not the ones making the decision. Keeping them updated and involved will create a feeling of being in control. Try to supply them with enough details about your new home, including facts about:

  • The location (town/city/countryside)

  • The new house and its features

  • Their new school

  • The neighborhood

  • How you are planning to relocate

A mother with her son and daughter, sitting in bed looking at a tablet.

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Your children will feel more excited about the move if you share details with them.

Children are visual beings, so remember to show them a lot of pictures, especially of your new home. When you go to check out listings, don’t forget to snap some pics of details that might interest them. By doing this, you will surely get them excited about the new chapter.

Turn the move into an adventure

Kids love excitement and creativity. To help your child cope with a pending move and make it more interesting, you could try to turn relocation into a memorable experience, both for you and them. Creating a story about the magical adventure you are about to embark on might make it easier for them to accept it. Your current life IS changing, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be stressful or bad.

Go easy on them

No matter what age they are, having patience when communicating with your children about relocation is of the utmost importance. Use language they understand, hear them out and answer all their questions. If your child is too young to comprehend the concept of moving, try being imaginative and descriptive. Some age-appropriate books on the topic might be of help here.

Children value routine, so you should not lose track of that as well - during, before, and after the move. As things get more chaotic, parents should offer familiarity and comfort to ease their kids’ anxiety.

Include them in the packing process
As mentioned earlier, it's vital that your children feel a part of the process. Engage them in packing activities, especially when it comes to their belongings. Even the younger kids are capable of getting their toys ready for the move. If you’re planning on leaving some things behind, let your children decide which items they would like to bring along. 


Parents packing boxes with their daughter.

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A great way to get your children involved with the move is to get them to help with packing.

Something that could make the preparations even more fun for the kids is allowing them to label the boxes. They can even decorate them any way they like.

Give them a chance to say goodbye

In order to say goodbye to your old place, it would be a good idea to take a walk down Memory Lane. You can give one last visit to all the sites you used to love going to as a family - a favorite park, restaurant, ice cream shop, etc. This will help your kids cope with the move and get closure when leaving the town you used to call home.

You can also throw a farewell party and invite all of your friends and neighbors. When you arrive at your new location, it could be a good idea to organize a housewarming party, so you can slowly assimilate your family into the new community.

Prepare them for the new school

Changing schools is challenging, no matter what age you are. That’s why it’s so important to help get your kids ready for the change that’s coming up. If possible, it would be great to arrange a meeting with the teacher or a guidance counselor before the school year starts. A tour of the school would also help familiarize them with the new surroundings.


A boy and a girl having fun in a new classroom.

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Alt: A boy and a girl having fun in a new classroom.

Picking the right school and dealing with paperwork can be demanding and stressful, so it’s essential to tend to the matter responsibly and on time. When looking for a new school, make sure you do your research so you can find the best fit. Remember to obtain all the documents and transcripts when arranging the transfer.

Less stress for you means less stress for them 

Children tend to follow their parents’ moods and attitudes. Therefore, if you are tense and stressed out, it is likely they will be as well. Getting yourself in a better, more relaxed mood will make the relocation easier for the whole family. 

When moving with children, especially if they’re young, some things are bound to be challenging. A move disrupts the routine, and the youngest members of the family take it the hardest. If you create a sense of excitement and keep a positive attitude through the process, you will undoubtedly contribute to helping your child cope with a pending move. Remember that this an exciting time and it should be treated as such!


Blog author image

Anne Newsome

I was just shy of 2 years old when he came into my home. He had a job to do, a job that must have been hard. The court had ordered that my sister and I be taken into custody. So the officer took us ....

1 comments in this topic

  • Posted by Shelbee On The Edge
    These are such wonderful tips! I am fortunate in that I have only had to move with my kids two times and both times they were so young, they barely remember it. We did change schools when my oldest went into 1st grade but it all turned out okay! Now we have vowed to not move again until our children are out of school so we can avoid all of the issues! Thanks for linking with me! Shelbee

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