How To Talk To Your Kids About Moving

Generally speaking, kids don’t like moving. They would much prefer to be in one place, close to their friends and the things they know.

Unfortunately, life can get in the way of those aspirations. Parents may need to move for multiple reasons, including work, relationship breakdown, or adventure.

baby dressed in white with flowers crawling on hard wood floor

The trick here is to talk to your kids about long distance moving in the right way. You want to prepare them for it psychologically so they are ready to jump ship when you are.

Involve Them in the Decision-Making

Ideally, you want to normalize the moving process and just make it a natural part of your family life. Therefore, you should discuss it in a way that keeps the option open. For instance, talk about the possibility of moving and how it might impact your family. Then, when an opportunity comes along, it won’t seem so alien to your kids.

Even better, include them in the decision-making process. Give them a say about where they would like to live.

Solve Their Concerns

Kids will naturally have concerns when you tell them you want to move. They will offer all sorts of reasons and excuses for why they can’t go with you.

Fortunately, you can solve most of these problems with a bit of planning. For example, if they want to see nanna more often, you can arrange regular video calls.

Try to let your children offer solutions to the issues they face. Avoid the temptation to point out their flaws. The more you can let them take ownership of the situation, the better they’ll feel.

Listen To Them

Talking to kids can help them feel better about a move, but listening to them is even more helpful. Children want to vent to an adult who understands their concerns.

Trying to rationalize with your children probably won’t work. Giving them reasons why moving isn’t such a big deal isn’t effective in helping them adjust.

However, giving them a bit of space to air their concerns can help. It’s a wonderful way to show them that you will be there for them, no matter what happens. Sometimes just getting their feelings out in the open is enough to calm them down.

Give Them Time to Process

baby sitting on daddy's lap while he reads to her

Most kids have knee-jerk reactions to moving house and going somewhere new, and usually, they are negative.

Therefore, parents should adopt a two-pronged approach. The first is to introduce the idea that you will move in the near future. Tell the child your plans and how their life will change. Then give them some time to process what’s happened. Try to avoid talking about it again immediately. Usually, the child will make peace with the situation after being tearful at the start.

Focus On the Positives

Lastly, focus on the positives of moving with your child. Point out all the amazing things that will happen once they arrive in their new location. Let them know it’s a great opportunity for making new friends and that you will always be by their side.

1 comment

  1. We've moved several times with our young children to different states due to work transfers. It's tough! The kids don't want to leave their friends, teachers, familiarity. We always start talking about the move as soon as possible, show the kids videos of several homes we're considering and ask for their input. And we make a big deal of how much fun it will be to discover the new town together - finding the best parks, exploring, etc.


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