How to prepare your children for moving?

Moving guides - October 1, 2018

Let’s face it – moving to a new home can be really difficult. There are a lot of mixed emotions involved – on one hand, you’re going to a new and interesting place, filled with opportunities. But on the other, you’re leaving a part of your old life behind. So yes, this can be quite stressful. And if you’re moving with your family, all of this is even more complicated. Because of this, learning how to prepare your children for moving should be one of your top priorities. Don’t worry though – that’s precisely why we’re here – to tell you all about it!!

Start to prepare your children for moving early on

As we’ve mentioned, you should know – moving stress is a very real issue. You may dismiss it as a non-problem before you actually have to relocate yourself – but you’ll soon realize that’s wrong. And don’t worry – it’s a perfectly normal emotional process. After all, you’re changing the most intimate parts of your life by moving. But also, it’s important to understand how this affects kids if you want to prepare your children for moving.

No matter how advanced your children are – the fact remains that they’re still emotionally developing. That’s why it’s important not to overestimate your children. No matter how well you think they’re equipped to cope with this – they’re really not. Especially if we’re talking about young, pre-adolescent kids. For one, children have a lot less control over their emotions than adults. And consequently, they experience everything more strongly. That’s why they’ll need your help to get through this process in their lives, the same way you need help from a moving company. Don’t worry though – there are a lot of things you can do to ease them through everything:

  • Keep them in the loop
  • Always have time for the kids
  • Stay positive throughout the relocation
  • Prepare your children for moving day
  • Start adapting to the new household

Keep the children informed

When you’ve been a parent for a while, you gradually learn to trust your instincts when it comes to parenting. After all, you know what’s best for your children, right? Well, in most cases, that’s indeed correct. But sometimes you have to disregard what your gut tells you, and think things through. And once you start to prepare your children for moving, there will be quite a few of these situations. For example, you’ll probably be tempted to not tell your kids about the relocation for as long as you can. We get it, really – you know that it’s something that will probably upset them, so you hold off on telling them.

But actually, that’s one of the worst things you can do. In fact – we recommend doing the complete opposite. The minute you’ve definitely decided to move – go and tell your entire family. Don’t leave the kids out of this. Why? It’s simple – if they find out early on, they’ll have a lot more time to emotionally cope with this big change, especially if it’s a long distance move. And then tell them everything you’re doing related to the move. 

A small girl laughing with nature in the background
Don’t hide anything if you want to prepare your children for moving!

Make time for the kids during the relocation

Speaking of time – you should know that this will become a rare commodity. You’ll soon see that a relocation requires a lot of time management. Once the planning phase starts, you’ll have a bunch of chores to juggle almost every day. You’ll be dealing with everything, from simple stuff like packing books to crazy chores like piano moving. In such a hectic environment, it’s often easy to overlook your children, and not spend enough time with them. But as difficult as it’ll be, this is actually the time when you’ll need to show them the most dedication. If you want to prepare your children for moving, you’ll need to be in constant and deep communication with them. You need to know if they have any qualms and doubts, and you have to address them. Only this will ensure that your kids adapt to the relocation smoothly.

Show them that you’re happy with the move

During your relocation, you need to show your children that you’re positive, and happy with how events are turning out. Simply put, your kids look to you as role models in every way, even when you don’t see it. That’s why you need to emit positive emotions while you’re moving. But bear in mind, you need to avoid a common mistake many parents make. It’s a common pitfall, really, but easy to fall into. Basically – you need to show, and not tell. Simply telling your children that you’re happy is not enough to prepare your children for moving. You need to really show them that you’re dealing with this process emotionally. When they see you’re truly satisfied with everything, they’ll have an easier time dealing with the relocation as well.

Have a plan in place for moving day

While the entire time you plan your move will be emotionally difficult for your kids, moving day itself will be the hardest. That’s why you don’t want to leave this to chance, and you need to plan out how that day will go for them. Bear in mind that the sight of all your things being loaded on a moving van may be traumatic for them. If you’ve got any friends or family that can take care of your kids for the day, you may want to plan out a picnic or some other activity for them.

Three adolescent children playing in an autumn forest, as an example of what to do to prepare your children for moving.
If you organize a picnic or field trip for your kids on moving day, they’ll feel better!

Adapting to the new home

Once the relocation is complete, most of your bigger troubles will be over. Now is the time when all the effort you’ve made to prepare your children for moving pays off. But your work is not done just yet. In the period after moving day, put in extra effort to help your children adapt to the new house. Or, rather, try to make it as similar to your old home as you can, to minimize the change. Also, find them a lot of fun and interesting activities. It won’t take long, and your kids will be fully adapted and happy in the new environment!

A big pile of brightly colored toys.
Make sure your children are occupied with fun activities!

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