Moving Children

Moving children can be challenging. Leaving friends and familiar places are as hard on children as it is on adults.

To make it easier on your children consider a move in 3 stages:


• Tell children about the move right away, the more time they have to prepare the easier it will be

• Give children a chance to express their feelings, they may feel anger, sadness or worry

• Be honest about your uncertainty but be optimistic about the move

• Help older children prepare list of phone numbers, addresses of close friends and relatives

• If your child is old enough, put them in charge of researching the new location

• Explore the new neighbourhood/town with your children

• If this is not possible, take pictures of your home, school and neighbourhood to show them


• Stay as calm as possible as this will impact children, especially babies

• Involve children in packing smaller, non-delicate items

• Take special blankets, stuffed animals or favourite books with you in the car or plane

• Stick to routines – have meals at the same time, keep normal nap and bedtimes

• Help your children say good bye as a family to friends, relatives and neighbours


• Let children have input in planning the new house, like the placement of their bedroom furniture and the paint colour of their rooms

• Don’t spend too much time unpacking –take time to explore and enjoy your new home with your family

• Once you have met some people/children in the neighbourhood invite them over for a playdate

• Get involved with church groups, YMCA, activity clubs, etc. to enable socializing

• Try to be there when your children get home from their first day at the new school

• Spend time with your children and regularly ask how things are going – they may have a hard time opening up

• It takes time to adjust at home – younger children usually adapt faster where as an older child/teen can take up to 4-5 months

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Moving Children (PDF)

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