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How to prepare your children for moving

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Moving with kids

Moving can be difficult for children. However with some forethought and preparation, you can put their minds at ease and get your kids excited about moving to a new city or neighborhood.

Family moving

1Discuss the move openly

The decision to move is a big one. If you have decided to move, whether across town or across the country, explain to your children why you are moving. Whether it's because of a job transfer or just because you're moving into a bigger house/better neighborhood, your kids deserve an explanation. If you explain how the move will improve your family life, it will take the focus off the negative or frightening aspects for your children. Allow them to make a list of their concerns or questions and answer them as thoroughly and honestly as you can.

2Involve kids in the moving process

If you are house-hunting, allow your kids to look at possible homes on the Internet or learn about new schools. When you make your child an active participant in the move, he/she will be less likely to be resistant or worried. Once you have found a home, allow your child to find out about the neighborhood. Where will they go to the park or movies? What stores, restaurants and attractions are nearby?

3Avoid moving during crucial times

Don't move if your toddler is in the middle of toilet training or has just moved into a big-boy bed from the crib. Too many changes can be overwhelming for young children. For school-age children, it may be better to hold off your move until the summertime to avoid disruption during the school year.

4Get your children excited about the move

When you move, allow your children to decorate their new bedrooms. Before you move, they can pick out a paint color, draw up a floor plan to arrange the furniture, and shop for new bedding and rugs. Provide your kids with a moving kit containing information about your new city or neighborhood, pictures of your new house and other items to put them at ease about the move. Give them an address book to collect addresses and phone numbers of friends who they want to keep in touch with.

5Make packing fun

When packing up your child's toys and clothes, make sure they understand that you aren't throwing the items away. Make packing fun. Give them colorful labels and markers in order to label their boxes. Young children can stay with a babysitter on moving day, while older kids and teens can help pack the moving truck.

6Keep routines and rules

Just because you're moving doesn't mean everything else needs to change about your family. When you move, keep your household routine and rules the same. Children thrive with consistent routines. Mealtimes, bedtimes and other routines should stay the same.

7Set up playdates

Once you move, set up playdates or get your children involved in extracurricular activities to help them meet new friends. Visit local restaurants, parks and attractions to help your kids get acclimated to your new community as soon as possible.

More moving tips

Your keys to a good move
Sell well: It's time to move!
Save money and time when moving

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