Moving can be a stressful time. On moving day, you have a lot of things to think about in order to make the move successful and, you hope, more efficient. After the move, you may have a sense of loss. You are in a new home and have to adjust to a new layout. Your kids may have no friends in your new neighborhood. You’ll have to adjust to a new climate. There is an adjustment period overall. Your life will be less tense if you prepare your children for the move beforehand.

Positives vs. Negatives

Your children will likely focus on the negative aspects of a move:

  • Loss of friends
  • Meeting new people
  • Adjustments at school
  • New extracurricular activities

As a parent, you can help your children deal with the negative aspects of moving by helping them to see the positives. Emphasize the opportunities they have of meeting new people and learning about a different culture. Explain that they can remain in contact with old friends by phone, email or skype and still make new friends in their new home.

If your child is stressing about moving to a new school because they are afraid of falling behind academically, explain that their academic skills are fine and will likely lead to their success. Offer to hire a tutor to help them adjust if necessary.

Turn your child’s negatives into positives by presenting them as opportunities.

Family with arms up celebrating they are moving home

Let Your Children Express Themselves

Instead of arguing with your child, give them the freedom to express how they feel about the move. In many cases, children just want to be heard. They want to know that you care about how they feel. Express that you do care and that you understand their feelings, but emphasize the importance of the move and the reasons for the move. If it’s related to your job, explain the benefits in a way that she can understand (e.g. Is there a pay raise or a promotion? Maybe it’s an opportunity to meet new people related to your new company move.).

Another way to approach a move with some children is to discuss the excitement and adventure aspect of the move. Explain how the Pilgrims became pioneers and moved to a new country for a fresh start and your move is similar to theirs. Make your child the hero.

Visit the New Community Before Moving

If possible, take your children to visit your new community before you move. If they see the neighborhood (the school, the park, churches, etc.) before arriving, they may be less apprehensive about the move. Getting eyes on the new neighborhood could be a way for your kids to get familiar with their new surroundings before they are immersed in them.

Above all, communicate with your child. Prepare them for the move emotionally and psychologically before you make it. That will go a long way to relieving the stress.