Moving can often be an upsetting experience for children no matter their age. This process when done frequently may cause them to develop feelings of insecurity and apprehension. Even so, do not despair; they are many things you can do to reassure your children and make the moving experience less scary for them.


Get them involved from the very start

Let your children know as soon as you have made the decision to move; in other words, do not spring it on them at the last moment. Be sure to explain why you are moving in terms they can understand. Are you relocating because of a new job, or just need more room? Explain what will happen so they will have a general idea of what to expect. This will remove a lot of the confusion and fear they might be feeling.

Let them know when the move will take place and how their belongings will get to the new house. Try to answer their questions as fully and honestly as you can. Keep in mind that your attitude towards the move will rub off on them, so try to stay positive and upbeat.

Use story to help explain

You can help prepare them further by having them choose from among many children’s books available on moving. Just a couple of these are “Little Critter: We Are Moving by Mercer Mayer” and “Berenstain Bear’s Moving Day” by Sam Berenstain. Check your local library for more.


Let them help

If you give your children an active role in the move, they are much more likely to accept it and even grow excited about it. Likewise, ask for their suggestions and involve them in the plans. Allow them to pack some of their belongings, even if you must repack them later. This will help them feel like they are a part of the move.

Let the kids help decide on what to do with any old toys you do not plan to take. Especially if you plan on discarding or donating them to other children.

Make the move an adventure

It will help calm your children’s fears if you approach the coming move as an exciting family adventure. Again, the more positive you are about the move, the more positive they will be. Make sure they understand they will not be left behind.

Show them the new location

Show them the new house and have them spend some time exploring it. Seeing their new rooms beforehand can help them visualize where furniture and toys will go. Similarly, a tour of the yard can help them imagine all the fun activities awaiting them.

If you cannot visit the new house together before the move, take tons of photos. This will give them a general idea of what it looks like and help them to become familiar with it. Talk about all the fun and exciting things the family will do there.

What to do on moving day

  • On the day of the move, a good plan is for the children to stay with a trusted relative or friend. This can speed up the moving process a bit since you would have less to worry about. However, If the kids will be tagging along during the whole move, involve them in some of the activities.
  • If you decide on a moving company, introduce your children to workers so they know who’s taking their stuff away.
  • Give them a box of their own to pack and bring in the car for the ride. It should include all the things your children value the most like that special blanket, favorite stuffed animals, or that favorite pair of pajamas. It will keep the children occupied and feeling useful and it will also ensure that you know exactly where these special items are. You would never want to arrive at your new home not knowing where to locate Janes’s scruffy old bear or Timmy’s favorite action figure! It also helps children feel safe because they have their most important belongings.

Traveling to your new home

Try and make the trip exciting, especially if it is a long drive. Children are more likely to enjoy the move much more if they can relate it to a family activity. Having lots of games or books is an effective way to keep the children occupied. Having everyone tell a story about what they think living in the new house will be like is another clever way to keep things entertaining.

In the end, all that matters is having the entire family arrive happy and safe to start this new phase of your lives.