Tips for Moving With Kids

Tips for moving with kids that will help them say goodbye and embrace their new home.

Helping Kids Adjust to a new home

By the time I was seventeen years old, I had moved eight times, living in five countries on three continents. Many moves later, I calculate that I have averaged one move every other year across my lifetime. I know a lot about moving!

Tips for Moving With Kids

Moving to a new place is a big change! It is a lot of work, and exhausting both physically and emotionally. Here are a few tips for helping kids adjust to a new home.

Moving Tip #1: Tell them what to expect

Tell your kids what they should expect each step of the way. When will the house be packed up? When will we move into the new home? Where will we stay while we are moving? How will the boxes get from the old home to the new home? How will we move from our old home to our new home?

Moving Tip #2: Give them a box of their own

Watching all of your belongings be packed into boxes can be disconcerting! Giving kids a box that they can fill with their most important belongings gives kids a sense of security and control.

Help kids make memories of their old home before moving to a new home

Moving Tip #3: Make memories

We took pictures in every room of our old house before we left Massachusetts. It helped the kids to say goodbye, and it was also a fun way to revisit memories in this house that had been our home for as long as all four of our kids could remember. Mike and I put a lot of work into this house, also, and that was part of the “saying goodbye” process for us. I know Emma was thinking about how our friend helped us put in this light fixture when I took the above photo!

Moving Tip #4: Don’t be afraid to mourn

It is always okay to be sad about leaving a home, even when the new home offers exciting opportunities. Giving kids space to talk about what they miss about their old home without trying to convince them that their new home is better will help them move on and accept their new life.

Moving Tip #5: Visit

If possible, go back to visit your old home. This is a great way to acknowledge to kids that their old home was an important part of their life. It can also be a gentle way to help a child understand that the old home is no longer theirs and that it is time to move on.

What are your top tips for preparing a child for a  move, and helping them adjust to a new home?

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

14 thoughts on “Tips for Moving With Kids”

  1. almostunschoolers

    I took the kids on a computer tour of the new house and town, showing them picture of the rooms that would be theirs, and having them help decide where our furniture might fit in the different rooms, and “walking” around the neighborhood on Google maps.

  2. We’ve moved so much that I don’t think my kids have ever really gotten attached to a house. I do remember the day, though, that our belongings arrived into S. Africa from the states. They were jumping with glee and it really helped them settle into our new house in a foreign land.

  3. These are helpful tips. As a military family we have moved with kids multiple times and I always start talking about the new location early on especially what there will be to do there. We get out the map too and talk about where we live in relation to where we will be moving-and where family lives. It is tough uprooting every 3 years, but I think kids gain a resiliency-and you are exactly right that we have to involve them in the mourning process (if needed) too!

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