How to Help Your Child Get Ready for a Move

Moving can be hard enough when you’re an adult, but it can be especially difficult for children. Younger children are generally easier to move with; they haven’t built up relationships with friends yet. When we made two different cross-country moves a little less than decade ago, my son didn’t have any problems. But, then, he was under the age of four.

Now, he’s almost 12. He’s still fairly adaptable, but he feels sad to leave his friends behind. This whole process is easier because he’s starting middle school, so there is a natural break. But he’s still a little concerned about the move to Pennsylvania, so we’re working to prepare him.

move with your kids

Discuss the Move

We’ve been discussing the move for quite some time. About a year ago, we started talking about the possibility. While the actual decision came rather recently, we’ve known for a while that a move would probably be necessary. As a result, we’ve had time to prepare my son for the inevitable.

As the process has moved forward in the last few weeks, we’ve talked about the apartment, looked at it online, and talked about the cool things nearby. If you are moving across town, or going to a place within a couple of hours, you can actually take your child to see the new place and the new area. This can help him or her identify with it.

We’ve been focusing on the positives, and shown our son pictures of the new apartment community to help him feel excited. If there are positives, such as moving closer to family, new activities, and other items, talk about those. Acknowledge that it will be tough, but that you are a family, and you will find new and interesting things to do in the new locale.

You can even talk about returning to visit, if appropriate. When I moved as a child about my son’s age, I kept up with correspondence. I wrote to some of my friends all through high school. Today, with email and social media, it’s possible to encourage these connections — something that can be especially important to older children and teenagers.

Start With Your Child’s Room in the New Place

Once you relocate, your first priority should be setting up your child’s room. Do this before you get the rest of the house in order. This allows your child to feel important, as well as let him or her get into a stable and settled environment quickly. You can help your child adapt by giving him or her a safe and orderly space to adjust in.

Realize, too, that your child might need anywhere between four weeks and a few months to settle in at home and at school. Try to be patient, and encourage your child to get involved in the new area so that he or she can make a better and faster transition. With a little guidance and help, the move can be a positive experience for everyone.

About the Author

Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger. See more of her writing at MirandaMarquit.com. Her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger is available from Amazon.