16 Tips To Help Make Moving With Kids Much Easier

Moving is a big deal for kids. This shouldn't be too surprising, as it tends to be quite the ordeal for adults as well. However, while adults move because of a job transfer or the desire to live somewhere that's better for themselves or their family, children tend to feel happy and rooted where they currently are. While adults are able to look ahead to the future rationally, children may experience fear, sadness, and anger about having to leave their school, friends, and local family. 

The pandemic only increased the number of families across the nation that relocated. Remote work has become very common, meaning families have more freedom to live wherever they'd like. The end result is a whole lot of kids starting new schools, decorating new bedrooms, and experiencing annual traditions like the holidays in brand new locations. 

Depending upon your child's personality, they may or may not adjust easily to a move. Change isn't easy for anyone, but children in particular require security and stability, and this is often lost in the chaos of moving. Fortunately, as noted by the Child Development Institute, kids are also incredibly resilient. If a good, positive example is set before them, they're likely to embrace change and the adventure ahead. 

To make your move as easy as possible for not only yourselves but also your children, there are many things you can do to ensure things go smoothly and happily for your entire family.

1. Implement a game plan

Let's get organized! Before you even tell your child about the upcoming move, implement a game plan. This might include everything from planning how to break the news to your kid(s) to setting a firm arrival date at your new destination. The more organized the plan, the more likely a child is to respond well. 

2. Maintain a positive outlook

Positivity is key when it comes to kids and life alterations. Moving can be stressful and complicated, but your children are looking to you for their emotional cues. Keep things positive as much as you can whenever they're within earshot. By maintaining a healthy, forward-thinking mindset, your kids are likely to adopt one as well. 

3. Uphold routine

While moving can be overwhelming, it's also possible to maintain some routine during the process. Keep bedtime and meal times consistent, and try not to pull kids out of school or their favorite extracurriculars until you absolutely have to. While kids are still members of the family and should be involved in the moving process, keeping structure is key.

4. Take breaks

There's a lot to do. From packing to ordering new furniture to renting the moving truck, it's easy to let an upcoming move consume you. While you can push through long days, your child cannot. Be sure to take purposeful breaks and spend quality time with your kids while moving. Everything will still get done in the end. 

5. Pack up last, unpack first

Another way to provide your child stability and to make your life a bit easier during a move is to prioritize their bedroom and personal belongings. Pack up the rest of the house before starting on your child(ren)'s bedroom(s). Then, when you have the keys to your new place, unpack and settle them in first. 

6. Involve your child

Depending upon the age of your children, they can be involved in the moving process. From packing up boxes to accompanying you to the store to pick out paint colors, there are plenty of ways to involve your child in the exciting changes. Feeling heard and involved will make a big difference in your child's attitude and behavior. 

7. Create a cardboard playground

Kids adore cardboard boxes and that's a fact. With plenty of them laying around before and after your move, allow their imaginations to soar with an all-access pass to a cardboard kingdom. From building a castle to simply hiding out, they'll stay occupied and will process their stress and worry about moving through creative play.  

8. Organize meaningful goodbyes

When children move, many of them have lived in the same place for their entire lives. This can make leaving school and friends a scary thought. Take the time to create meaningful goodbyes with those important to your child. Final playdates, special gifts, and exchanging emails can all be helpful in saying goodbye to friends. 

9. Keep traditions

While you might not be able to visit some of your favorite local restaurants or destinations, there are likely still family traditions that can continue on regardless of where you're now located. Do your best to keep holiday and birthday traditions going, or involve your child in coming up with new ones. 

10. Give grace and space

The older your child, the tougher of a time they'll have saying goodbye. If you are the parent of a tween or teen, don't be afraid to give them space. Kids need time to process and sort out their own feelings, and they might not need or want help from their parents. Provide breathing room. 

11. Keep in touch

Help your child keep in touch with those they're leaving behind by setting them up with an email address or considering the purchase of a smart phone if they are old enough. Teach your child that saying goodbye doesn't mean being forgotten — technology has made keeping in touch with loved ones easier than ever before.

12. Create memories

Create memories that your child can look back on when they're feeling homesick for their old life. Making a family scrapbook or photo album is a special way to keep memories alive. You can also encourage your child to journal, hang photos in their new bedroom, or plan visits back to the old neighborhood. 

13. Assign jobs

Put kids to work! Children love to feel helpful and needed. Depending upon their age, there are a lot of tasks that children can complete during a move and feel proud that they contributed. From packing boxes to being the first to unlock the new front door — come up with ways to involve your kids.

14. Let them feel the feels

While teens often need space, not all do — and younger kids rarely want it. Pay attention to your child's thoughts and feelings, and join them in it. Being a supportive parent can be challenging in the midst of a busy move, but taking time to hear and comfort your child will really pay off.

15. Foster new friendships

Friendships are so important to children, and finding new ones can be challenging for some. Speak to your child's new school about orchestrating some sort of introduction or bring treats to share with their new class. Get them involved in their favorite sports or activities in your new town as soon as you can. 

16. Get excited about the future

Speak openly with your kids about the wonderful future ahead. There's plenty to be excited about, and they have a lot to look forward to. Step away from the hustle and bustle of moving to dream with your child and help them identify things in particular to be happy about.