How to Help Your Kids Cope with a Big Move

Moving is an exciting adventure that often propels you into the next chapter of your life, but that doesn’t mean it’s not without its challenges. Adjusting to a new city, or even just a new house across town, can be a stressful and intimidating process for everyone—especially your kids.

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If you’ve decided it’s time to make a move, then likely it’s because that’s what’s best for your family. Unfortunately, your children may not understand that for a while. Before you begin the moving process, make sure you know how to help set your kids up for the easiest possible transition into health and happiness in their new home!

Let them feel how they feel about it.

The most important thing you can do for your children during something as life changing as a move is listen to them. Acknowledge their feelings without trying to change them. As excited as you may be about the move, you can’t force them to feel the same way.

Let your kids know you understand their anxiety, and that everything they’re feeling is valid.

Be open and honest with them about how you’re feeling about it, so they’ll reciprocate. Reassure your children, trying to emphasize the positives of the move, without invalidating their emotions.

Share as much information as you can about the move.

Knowing what to expect from something new makes it a lot less frightening. Tell your kids everything you know so far about your new house and neighborhood, their new school, and even your new job.

Introduce them to your new area to help them become familiar with the new environment.

Bring your kids to showings in your new neighborhood so they can start picturing their new home. Or, if you already have a new house, take them to visit. Point out their new school, a couple fun places they can try when they get there, and maybe even stop at the local pizza shop for lunch! The more they know, the better.

Help them say goodbye.

Allow your children the space and time they need to grieve their old home, school, neighborhood, and friends. Let them know it’s okay to be sad about what they’re giving up. Take them to visit favorite spots and hangouts one last time before you leave.

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Throw a goodbye party.

Give your kids the chance to say goodbye to friends with a going away party. This will help them prepare to let go, but also encourage them to stay in touch. Having a trip planned to come back for a visit can also provide them with a little extra reassurance in the wake of a big change.

Get them involved in the moving process.

Take your kids to the hardware store and let them choose a paint color for their new rooms! Tell them they can choose where you’ll get takeout from on the first night in your new house and let them pick out a couple of decorations for the new living room.

Give your children back some of the control they’re losing in the move by allowing them to help make decisions.

Give them a job to do on moving day or during the packing process. This will help distract them or even get them excited! Let them pack up their own room, label the boxes from the kitchen, or even navigate to the new house on moving day.

Establish normalcy as soon as possible after moving.

Children need routine and predictability to feel safe, especially during the transition period after moving to a new place. Help them get comfortable in their new environment by setting up their room first. Even if the rest of the house is in chaos, they should have a familiar space to retreat to for comfort.

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Resume your regular schedule as soon as you can.

Familiar patterns, habits, and activities will help your kids start to feel like they’re at home in your new place. Reestablish their bedtime, mealtimes, and other normal practices as soon as possible. Have Wednesdays always been pizza night? Order one the first week you’re there! It’ll help them start to feel settled.

Continue to check in with your child.

We all need time to adjust to new places and new people, and your kids are no exception. Give them the space they need to make the transition on their own but let them know you’re right there with them.

Stay in contact with new teachers, encourage your kids to get involved, and don’t be afraid to ask them how they’re doing in the weeks (or even months) following the move. Be their support system during this adjustment period, just as you always have been!

Start your journey off on the right foot with a moving company that puts family first.

At Dowell’s Moving & Storage, we pride ourselves on being movers who understand family. We provide the services you need to help you pack and make the local or long-distance move to your new home as seamlessly as possible!

You can trust the Dowell’s team to handle your move so that you can prioritize your family. Contact us today to get a free quote and book our reliable moving services!