Moving house is a significant event for everyone, particularly for children. The impact of a move varies greatly depending on the child’s age. Relocating to a new city or town can be overwhelming. Amid the chaos of packing, children are often faced with the daunting task of saying goodbye to friends, teachers, and the familiar comfort of their community. In some cases, they may also have to adjust to a new school, which can be a source of anxiety.

Timing the Announcement

If your children are young, it’s wise not to disclose the moving plans too soon, especially if you haven’t yet found a suitable home. Time is an abstract concept for young children, and the prospect of a move can make them feel insecure. Even if the reason for the move is negative (such as a divorce or job loss), always frame the news positively. If you speak enthusiastically about the new house, your child will likely share your curiosity.

Understanding Children’s Reactions

Children may react to the news of a move in various ways. Some may regress, reverting to behaviors they’ve previously outgrown. Others may become rebellious or irritable without a clear cause and effect. Some children may express their anger towards their parents, hoping to dissuade them from moving. This can result in emotional manipulation.

Children may also express their feelings through sadness and crying. The stress of moving can be so overwhelming that it may disrupt their sleep or appetite.

Easing the Transition

Here are some strategies to help ease the transition:

  • Preparation Before the Move
    • Advance Notice: Inform your child of the move as the date approaches. For example, hang a calendar in their room and mark the moving date. This will help them understand how much time is left.
    • Reasons for the Move: Discuss why you’re moving and what the process will entail.
  • Emotional Preparation
    • Time for Goodbyes: Make sure your child has time to say farewell to their friends and relatives. You could even organize a goodbye party.
    • Open Communication: Allow your child to ask questions and express their feelings, whether it’s sadness, anger, frustration, or even joy.
  • Involvement in the Moving Process
    • Decision Making: Let them have a say in small decisions about their new home, such as the decor or their room.
    • Understanding the Process: Help them pack their belongings in boxes, and explain how they’ll find them again in the new home.
  • Introducing the New Environment
    • The New Home: Show your child the new place before you move in.
    • Neighborhood Exploration: Take a walk around the area and show them places they’ll frequently visit, like the park or the supermarket.
  • Managing Emotions
    • Stress Management: Avoid transferring your stress to your child. Even though moving can be emotionally draining, it’s usually an improvement. Try to maintain a calm atmosphere.
  • Language Learning
    • New Language: If a different language is spoken in the new location, consider enrolling them in language classes a few months before the move.

Conclusion: Embracing Change and Building Resilience During a House Move

Experiencing life changes is a normal part of our journey, and the key to navigating these changes lies in maintaining emotional stability. With the right parental support and professional assistance when necessary, moving house can transform from a daunting task into a valuable learning experience for children.

This transition can help children develop increased self-confidence and stronger socio-emotional skills. It teaches them to adapt to new environments, build new relationships, and embrace change as an integral part of life. So, as you guide your child through this significant milestone, remember that you’re not just moving to a new home – you’re also helping your child grow and thrive in the face of change. Happy moving!

Best free books at Storyberries

Stories About Moving House

Bedtime Stories Shaka and Mazi short stories for kids header

Shaka and Mazi

Shaka has an invisible friend. Will he join him when he moves house?

Jimmy and Steve Are Friends

When Steve moves in next to Jimmy, they quickly become great friends. And their friendship will spread through the whole neighbourhood!

Bedtime Stories Jimmy and Steve Are Friends short stories for kids header
Bedtime stories All Aboard short stories for kids header

All Aboard

Nina is worried about moving cities… until her family plays a game with her!

Katie and Her Best Friend

When Katie moves house, she has to make new friends, and discovers a dragon to keep her company.

Free MG stories for kids Katie and Her Best Friend bedtime stories

Article written by Luzmery M. Romero Gamboa

Luzmery Child Psychologist Storyberries

Luzmery works in the area of clinical psychology as a psychotherapist for children, adolescents, and families. Since 2016, she has run a Psychological Center in Venezuela called Psicoluz. She offers workshop facilitations to parents, is involved in recreational activities for children, and has been working as a freelancer since 2017 performing online psychotherapy.