Sydney Brodie
May 3, 2024
Article type:
Moving Help & Tips
Applies to:
All Moving

Helping Kids Adjust Before, During, and After a Move

Moving is stressful for adults. But for kids, it can feel like their whole world is being turned upside down. Saying goodbye to friends, leaving familiar places, and adjusting to a new environment are scary and stressful processes. As a parent, you want to help your kids navigate this difficult time successfully, but you might not know where to start.  

This blog is here to be your guide to moving with kids. We'll explore tips and tricks to help your kids navigate every stage of the move, from the initial announcement to settling into their new space. With open communication, a little bit of fun, and a focus on making the new place feel like home, you can help your kids adjust smoothly.  

Before The Move

Breaking the news that you’re moving and navigating all the emotions that come after that are two of the most difficult stages of helping kids adjust. Here are a few ways you can ensure your kids feel supported and safe:

1. Communicate Openly

Talking openly with your kids about a move is crucial. By being honest and answering their questions, you can address any fears or anxieties they might have. This open communication helps them feel involved and heard, making the transition to a new home smoother for everyone.

2. Help Them Prepare

There’s no perfect way to prepare kids for a move, but there are a few best practices you can implement. First, give them as much time as possible to process the news and say goodbye to their old home. If possible, take them on a tour of the new home and the area. Change is scary, but there can also be an element of fun to it as well if you take the time to highlight some of the new, exciting things they can look forward to.  

3. Validate Their Emotions  

Kids need to know that they have a safe space, especially when a lot of things in their life are about to change. Make sure you communicate that it’s ok to be sad, scared, or any other emotion they might experience.  

During The Move

Moving with kids is a chaotic process, and they can often feel lost in the shuffle of things. Here are a few ways to keep kids involved and maintain positive outlooks as much as possible:  

1. Give Them Some Decision-Making Power

Kids often don’t have a say in whether they move, so try and give them back some decision-making power. For example, you can let them choose their room in the new home or make some design choices. You can also give them their own boxes to pack and let them be in charge of packing up their room.  

2. Honor Their Grief

Moving means leaving familiar places, routines, and maybe even close friends, which means they are likely going through the grieving process. Processing these emotions in a healthy way will make moving easier on both parents and kids.

Throwing a going away party at your old house, writing notes to friends they’ll miss, and saying goodbye to the places and things they love are all good ideas that will help them process the fact that they’re moving and this is a normal part of life.  

3. Plan a Moving Day Activity  

During moving day chaos, scheduling a fun activity for your kids provides a much-needed escape from stress and disruption. This playful break allows them to burn off energy, stay positive, and feel less overwhelmed by the upheaval. It creates a happy memory amidst the change, making the transition to a new environment more positive.

Click here to learn more about some fun family-friendly activities you can do to minimize moving stress and anxiety.  

After The Move

The adjustment period doesn’t stop once you’re in your new home. It can take children a while to fully warm up to their new life and surroundings. While it’s always best to let children take their time, here are a few ways you can make them feel more comfortable right now:  

1. Set Up Kids’ Rooms First

Prioritizing your kids' rooms after a move creates a haven in the midst of chaos. Having a familiar space with their favorite belongings unpacked gives them a sense of control and comfort. This personal space becomes a refuge where they can relax, unwind, and process the many emotions that come with a big move.

2. Plan Fun Activities in Your New Area

Planning fun activities after a move isn't just about keeping kids entertained – it's a big step in helping them adjust to their new surroundings. Exploring parks, libraries, or even the local ice cream shop gives them a chance to discover the exciting possibilities their new neighborhood holds. These positive experiences create a sense of familiarity and belonging, making the new place feel less overwhelming and more like home.

3. Help Kids Stay Connected

Uprooting your family can disrupt important connections, but maintaining ties with old friends and family offers a wealth of benefits for your kids. These familiar faces provide a sense of continuity and comfort during a time of change. Sharing memories and inside jokes keeps those bonds strong, and technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch. These connections remind them they're still loved and supported by a wider circle, even from a distance.

Learn More Tips to Successfully Moving with Kids

Moving with kids can be an adventure, but with a little planning and open communication, it can be a smooth transition for everyone. For even more helpful tips and tricks, check out our blog posts on planning a stress-free move before, after, and during the process.  

This blog on important questions to ask before hiring a moving service is a great place to get started.