How to Prepare Kids for a Move


According to the stats blog FiveThirtyEight, the average American moves 11.4 times over their lives. There are missing reasons for all those moves, from marriage to job opportunities, but no matter the reason, one thing is certain – it’s stressful, especially on the kids.  

Whether you’ve just purchased a home among Austin real estate or anywhere else, these tips can help you prepare your kids to lessen the stress for a smoother transition.

Tell the Kids ASAP

Don’t put off telling the kids about the move. It’s important to let them in on the news as soon as you can to get them as much time as possible to adjust to the idea. Acknowledge any sadness about leaving behind friends and familiar things, being sympathetic about nervousness as to what might await, while also emphasizing positive aspects. Talk about how exciting an adventure it is, perhaps using examples of how pioneers traveled to new lands. You might also provide some age-appropriate books focused on families moving to a new city.

Get Them Involved

Find ways to get the kids involved – things will go a lot more smoothly if they’re kept in the loop. Hang up a calendar that everyone can see and write down the date you’re moving as well as goals a long the way, such as the date you need to start packing. For children who are old enough, they can pack up their own things – give them stickers, markers and crayons to decorate the boxes. They might even draw pictures of how they’ll arrange their new rooms.

Let them Make as Many Choices as They Can

As the move is out of their control, kids tend to feel powerless. By letting them make as many choices as possible it can significantly relieve that stress. For example, can they choose their own bedroom and perhaps even a new paint color?

Make a Scrapbook

Let your children create a scrapbook of all their memories. Give them a camera to take pictures before leaving the old house, allowing them to document their favorite parts. They can also capture photos for their neighborhood, favorite places and friends to add to the scrapbook. Include addresses and notes from neighbors, friends and teachers and encourage your child to stay in touch – these days it’s much easier to do so, both online and via phone calls.

Get Them Excited About Their New Home and Neighborhood

Give the kids lots to look forward to about their new home. You may want to get a large map, marking where the house will be as well as some of the fun places nearby that they’ll be able to enjoy.

Help Them Pack a Moving Kit

Let each child pack their own “moving kit” that contains fun items they’ll be able to easily get to while on the road to your new city and right after they arrive. It can include items like favorite toys, books, games and perhaps some photos of friends.

About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.