Moving with Kids

Moving is tough enough as it is; add kids into the mix, and it can get downright chaotic. Here are some suggestions to keep a sense of normalcy during this transition.

Toddlers & Preschoolers

To minimize stress and fear, try to keep a normal routine as long as possible but do involve your kids in the process. The more they are prepared, the less stress they (and you!) will have. Taking them house-hunting, having them help pack boxes (or even just coloring or “decorating” the boxes as you pack them), etc. helps them feel involved.

Younger children can role-play a move using their dolls, toys, and trucks. Pretend Barbie is moving to her new “dream house”!

School-Aged Children

For school-aged kids, make sure they have your new address to pass out to their friends before the move. If they will be changing schools, make sure they get their friends’ addresses and phone numbers if they don’t already have that information.

Children of all ages benefit from being able to make decisions on their new room, how to decorate, and where to put things. It might feel sad to leave their comfortable, familiar room behind, but letting them pick out a few new items to personalize their new space can help greatly.

Time to Move!

On moving day, don’t try to do it all at once! Have separate overnight bags with whatever you need for a day. Include snacks and activities; then order in some pizza and play some games. Make the first night in your new home about your family, not your things! If you’ve unpacked some of the larger boxes, try taping them together into tunnels or cutting windows for creative play. You’ll never have more play boxes than now!

Be available to talk to your child about changes in school, new friends, and other stressors your child may face as a result of the move, and keep an eye on any issues your child may have, such as lingering anxiety or loss of appetite. Consult your pediatrician with any concerns.