How to help kids adjust to a move

Staff Writer
Baystateparent Magazine

Every year, about 14% of the U.S. population moves to a new home according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While some moves can be exciting for a family, others can be stressful when they are related to job loss, promotions, transfers or a number of other factors.

Moving across town, across the country or even across the world can be difficult for the whole family, but especially for children.

Moving to a new neighborhood or a new town is a major adjustment for children of all ages. Children lose friends, can have trouble sleeping in a new place and can become angry or sad. Here's how you can ease your kids into a move.

1. Announce the move: Listen, acknowledge and don’t try to talk your child out of their feelings. For younger children who might not understand, you can act out the move with stuffed animals. Emphasize that the whole family will be moving together.

2. Help them know what to expect: Visit your new home if possible. Also take your kids to the playground and their new school. You can also find new restaurants to eat at.

3. Make a moving book: Take photos, print out captions, glue them to paper, get it laminated and put it in a notebook. Help them make a “journey” through the story of the move.

4. Honor grief: Let kids express their sadness about saying goodbye. It can help make their adjustment to a new place.

5. Give your child some control: Let you child participate in any decision that you can. Ask them what color to paint their room or where you should put the furniture or their toys.

6. Same schedule: Keep your child’s schedule the same. More predictability can help your child adjust more quickly.