Five Tips for Moving with Kids

Moves can be tough on children because of losing friends, changing routines, and starting a new school. For these reasons, many children perform more poorly both academically and socially right after a move and moving can cause children to experience anxiety.

Unfortunately, though, moves are a part of life. Each year, about 10% of children experience a move. While some of these moves can be due to negative situations such as divorce or job loss, others can offer long-term advantages to children. They may be moving to a safer area, a stronger school system, or a place closer to extended family.

No matter why you may be moving, you can make a move as positive for your children as possible if you consider managing the experience for them. Below are five simple tips we often share with our clients that help minimize the impact of moving on your children.

Manage your stress.

Remember, how you handle the situation will affect your children’s experience. If you’re frazzled and stressed, they will be, too. Build enough time to complete all the essential tasks and leave room for family fun if possible. Talk to each of your children and listen to how they’re feeling. (refer to the next tip below!)

Talk through what is happening.

Children notice more than you may think, so make sure to tell them what is going on. Of course, how you talk to your children will depend on their ages. Toddlers need the simplest possible explanations. For preschoolers, you might use pictures or tell a story. You can be frank with older kids but still focus on the positive. Remind them of times they have handled situations well, and encourage them to look at this positively. But no matter your child is age, don’t take any negative reactions or pushback you receive personally. They should feel safe expressing their emotions so they can work through them.

Pack their rooms last and unpack them first.

To give children a sense of stability, pack their rooms last and unpack their rooms first. This way, you are delaying the disruption of their lives as much as possible and giving them stability as quickly as possible.

Help them say goodbye.

Make sure to let your children spend quality time with all the people they are leaving behind. Throw a party or plan some special one-on-ones. Plan a way for older children to stay in touch with friends. If they don’t have a phone, you could set up an email or exchange mailing addresses. Give their friends or their friends’ parents your number so they can call and chat.

Find stability in routines.

Preserve previous routines as much as possible. Find activities in the new location that are similar to what they were able to do before. If your children have a favorite overnight summer camp, continue sending them if possible. Plan overnight visits with grandparents like always.

The bottom line is that if a move is the best decision for your family, it will also be good for your children too. With your care and guidance, they will adjust to their new lives and find things they love about their new routines.

Let us help you make the transition.

If you’re ready to make a move, let’s talk! We can help you think through all the details so that the move is as easy as possible for your kids. Get insider advice from our experts for the least stressful move possible. We would love to help.