Moving with kids? But it doesn't have to be scary! First, we understand — it's tough leaving behind what's familiar. Then, we can help by giving you strategies to make the moving with kids easier. We'll support you through the highs and lows of emotions. Finally, we connect — guiding you to build new friendships and memories. Together, we can make this move a great experience for your family! This article was written for you by WellKnown Moving Company.

How to Prepare Your Child for Moving

Understanding Your Child's Perspective

Children's Need for Stability and Familiarity

Children require stability and familiarity to feel secure and accepted. Studies have indicated that these variables are critical for children's emotional well-being and development. However, when they move, such as when they lose friends and family, it might be difficult for them to meet their demands. This might lead to stress and anxiety.

The Psychological Impact of Moving on Kids

How does moving affect a child? A study by Today's Parent found that kids who change schools a lot during their childhood are more likely to develop mental health problems later in life. Specifically, kids who've changed schools 3 or more times are 60% more likely to have psychotic-like symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, and thought interference. This shows that moving around a lot can have a serious impact on a kid's mental health and can last a long time. It also emphasizes the importance of careful planning and support for moving, especially for kids.

But can moving have a positive affect on a child? Of course, moving can be a great thing for kids, because it helps them become more adaptable, exposed to different cultures and experiences, and improve their social skills by making new friends.

Parental Self-Care and Emotional Management

The emotional state of parents is super important when it comes to how kids deal with moving. Studies have shown that stress, anxiety, and even depression in parents can all have a similar impact on kids. So it's really important for parents to find effective ways to take care of themselves during the moving process. Things like mindfulness, doing regular exercise, and getting social support can help parents manage stress and also help them model positive coping strategies for their kids.

Communicating About the Move

Strategies for Honest and Age-Appropriate Conversations

Open and honest communication when discussing moving with kids is crucial. You have to tailor the conversation according to the child's age and level of comprehension. Make sure they feel heard and understood. This can help reduce anxiety and fear associated with the move.

Here’s how you can approach it based on the child’s age:

  • πŸ“˜ For Toddlers and Preschoolers (Ages 1-4): Keep explanations simple. Use a calm and reassuring tone. You might say, "We're going to live in a new house where you'll have a bigger room to play in!" Utilize storybooks or cartoons about moving to help them understand the concept.
  • 🌟 For School-Aged Children (Ages 5-12): Offer more details about the move, focusing on the positives such as making new friends or exciting things to do in the new neighborhood. Encourage them to express their feelings and concerns. Answer their questions honestly but optimistically.
  • πŸ’¬ For Teenagers: Engage them in an open dialogue. Acknowledge their feelings about leaving friends or changing schools. Tell them spending time with friends isn't over yet. You can help them stay in touch offline, and they can still chat online. That doesn't mean it's the end of the friendship. Discuss the move's benefits and opportunities, such as new extracurricular activities or interests they can pursue. Involve them in decisions when possible, like choosing their room or exploring new schools.

No matter what age the child is, make sure they feel like their thoughts and feelings matter. Encourage them to talk about their fears and excitements, making sure to stress that while the move might be a big change, it's something the family can handle together, supporting each other.

Involving Children in the Moving Process

Involving kids in the moving process helps them feel in control and accepted, which is great for their adjustment. Letting them decide what to pack or where they'll put their stuff can help them feel more involved and less like just a passenger during the move. This all makes sense, because it aligns with what mental health experts recommend - making sure new students feel included and supported when they start school, which reduces the risk of bad mental health outcomes.

How To Support Children During A Move

Moving with Kids. Photo by MART  PRODUCTION from Pexels:

The Role of Consistency in Children's Emotional Stability

Maintaining routines and traditions plays a big role in kids' emotional well-being, and scientific evidence shows that consistency is key for stability in development. A study conducted by a University at Albany-SUNY found that consistent daily routines like meal times and sleep schedules are really helpful for kids, because they help them manage their time and pay attention better.

The study also suggests that people who had regular routines when they were growing up are less likely to have time management or attention problems later in life. This shows how important regularity is in routines. In addition to helping kids develop skills, regular routines give them a sense of stability and security in their families.

Addressing Feelings of Loss and Homesickness

When it comes to the emotional challenges that come with moving, like losing and feeling homesick, it's important to engage in activities that validate those feelings:

  1. πŸ“¦ Memory Box Creation: Encourage kids to fill a box with mementos from their previous home—photos, small toys, or anything that holds special memories. This tactile activity helps them acknowledge their feelings and cherish the past while moving forward.
  2. πŸ’» Digital Memory Album: Together, create a digital photo album or slideshow of memories from your old home, friends, and special occasions. This project not only serves as a digital keepsake but also allows for easy sharing with friends and family, keeping those connections alive.
  3. πŸš— Farewell Tour: Before the move, take a day to visit favorite places in your old neighborhood. Take photos, collect small souvenirs, and talk about what you love about each spot. This "farewell tour" can help provide closure and celebrate the good times spent there.
  4. πŸ—ΊοΈ Map of Memories: Create a visual "map" with your children, marking places of importance from your previous home with notes or pictures. This can be a fun, creative way to discuss and honor the memories associated with those places.

Building New Connections

Encouraging Social Integration

Moving to a new place can be tough for kids, especially when it comes to making new friends and fitting in socially. Here are some strategies you can try to help your child with this important part of their development (based on article):

  • πŸ€ Engage in Extracurricular Activities: Participation in extracurricular activities like sports, music, dance, and clubs.
  • ❀️ Promote Parental Support: Encourage parents to support their children's involvement in activities.
  • 🌱 Highlight the Development of Desirable Attributes: Focus on the development of discipline, responsibility, and social skills through activities. Extracurricular activities very helpful with this!

Staying Connected with Old Friends

Maintaining old friendships is just as important as building new ones, especially when you're going through a change. Here are some ways to help kids stay connected with friends from their old community:

  • πŸ’» Leverage Technology: Encourage creative uses of technology to keep old friendships alive. Video calls, social media, and online games can provide platforms for children to share experiences, discuss their new lives, and maintain the bond despite the distance.
  • ✈️ Plan Visits: Whenever you can, try to organize trips back to your old community. Those trips can help keep old friendships going, give kids a sense of belonging and stability in the face of change. It's a reminder that while they're building new relationships, their old ones still matter and have value.

Practical Strategies For Moving With Kids

Moving with Kids. Photo by cottonbro studio from Pexels:

Moving to a new house can be stressful for families with children. However, with the right approach and planning, it can be made much easier. Here are some tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible:

The Power of Preparation

Checklists and Timelines for a Family-Friendly Move

To make a successful move, preparation is key. At WellKnown Moving Company, we've got a great moving checklist on Google Sheets that helps families go through every step of the process. It covers everything from packing essential items to getting your new house set up, so nothing can be forgotten.

Selecting the Right Time to Move

Moving at the right time could really make a difference in the kids' transition. Think about the school year and big events in their lives so you can plan it out better. The table below gives you some ideas about when to move with kids:

Consideration Optimal Time to Move
Academic Year Summer Break
Transition Between Schools After Completing a Major Grade Level (e.g., Elementary to Middle School)
Family Milestones After Significant Events (e.g., after birthdays or holidays to avoid overlapping stress)

Making the New Place Feel Like Home

Moving with Kids

Customizing Children’s Spaces

Involving kids in decorating and setting up their new room can be really helpful for them to adjust to their new home. Letting them choose colors, themes, or even specific decor gives them a feeling of control and responsibility for the space. That way, the new environment feels more familiar and comforting.

Quick Wins to Establish Familiarity and Comfort

To quickly make your new house feel like home, focus on establishing areas of comfort and familiarity right away. Here are a few ideas you might want to implement:

  1. πŸ–ΌοΈ Create a Memory Wall: Dedicate a wall in your new home for hanging family pictures, children’s artwork, and other memorabilia. This can immediately make the new space feel personal and cherished.
  2. 🍽️ Set Up a Welcome Ritual: Plan a special "Welcome to Our New Home" dinner or picnic on the first night. Use this time to talk about the adventures you’ll have in the new home and the memories you’ll create together.
  3. 🧸 Unpack Personal Items First: Make it a priority to unpack your children’s rooms first. Set up their beds with their favorite bedding and arrange familiar items around their room. Seeing their personal belongings can provide a sense of security.
  4. πŸ›‹οΈ Create a Comfort Corner: Designate a cozy area in the house where your child can relax with comfort items like plush toys, cushions, or a small tent. This can be their go-to spot for feeling safe and comfortable.
  5. πŸšͺ Personalize Door Signs: Let your children design their own door signs for their new rooms. This small act of personalization can make them feel more connected to their new space.


In this guide, we’ve looked at some different strategies and ideas to make moving with kids a positive and development-focused experience.

Moving with kids opens up a world of opportunities for growth, resilience, and new adventures. It's a chance to explore new places, meet new people, and create lasting memories together. Every move brings its own set of challenges, but with the right approach, it can also bring families closer and teach valuable life skills.

We're inviting you to share some of your moving stories and tips. Maybe it's about a strategy that helped make your move smoother, a lesson you picked up along the way, or even just a memorable moment from your move. Your experience can help other families make the big changes in life easier.

Visit our moving forum where you can tell your story or get answers to your questions!