Moving to a new home can be stressful, even if your new home is just across the road! You live in chaos from the moment you put your house on the market until the whole family is settled in the new home.


It is hard for an adult, and is even harder for children. The world they have been living in for years is changing – if you move far away, they can lose old friends and feel anxious about making new ones. Some wish they could stay but they cannot, and may feel helpless about it. Their sleep pattern changes – they either do not fall asleep easily or wake up in the middle of the night. Older children can get angry, or depressed. Younger children get clingy and may even regress.


As a parent you feel that you should stay calm and provide your kids with the emotional support they are longing for now. But how can you do it if you yourself struggle to cope with so much to do on top of your everyday tasks? Perhaps, you are suffering from your own sense of loss too and need support yourself.


Here are some ideas of how you keep yourself and your kids happy when moving to a new home:


When the decision to move is made, allocate some time to explain to your children why you are moving, and where to. Make sure you are not rushing, their every question is answered, and every concern is addressed. 

Trying to talk your child out of their feelings is not a good idea, better to discuss how they can find a solution like staying in touch with their friends.

Be patient –  you are probably excited about the move but they can react with some sadness or anger.

Younger children often worry that they will be left behind. Using toys to recreate the move will provide them a visual reassurance that the family will be going together. Their excitement will become positive rather than based on anxiety.


Do not ignore self-care. Make it one of your priorities! You cannot support your children if you are exhausted. Get enough sleep, find a minute (or two) for “me time”, have some quality time with your other half or dear friends – moving home is not a quick process, having breaks is the number one rule when we talk about self-care. These breaks will make no difference to your moving schedule but can save your family a lot of stress.


Make your children understand what to expect. Children are visual, more than adults. Visiting your new place will give them a good understanding of what their life in the new home is going to be like. They can choose their rooms in the new house, and see their new school. If the move to a new home happens in the middle of the academic year, most of the schools offer trial lessons. During these lessons your children will definitely make new friends that will make them excited about the move.


Give your child some control. If your children are big enough to be involved in decision making, get them involved. They can choose what colour to paint their room or where to put the furniture. Shopping for the paint in their room will take their mind away from any negative emotions and turn them into a positive. 

Going to a new home is the perfect time to sort out the clutter. Going through room to room and discussing which things you would like to keep and which should go to charities is a helpful exercise. They will see you as a positive role model and will copy your calm behaviour.

Let your children choose the boxes to pack their toys. Let them write their name on the box, or write it together. They may want to decorate their boxes – great! It will keeps them busy while you are packing.


Keep their routine the same, as close as possible. While moving to a new environment, your children will unlikely be able to cope with even more changes. Instead, keeping their routine the same will help them adjust quicker – stick to the same bedtime, same weekend family times, same schedule for breakfast, lunch and dinner too.


Set up the children’s rooms first. Your children will have a calm and safe space with their familiar things will be around them. We are sure you will have plenty of time to set up the rest of the house while your children are busy playing in their new rooms and learning to love their new home!


Go outside as soon as you arrive at your new place. Visiting a playground with small children is definitely a priority! It is the easiest way to make new friends not only by your child but also by you.

Our experience show that older kids do not usually join this activity. But they are happy to stay somewhere near and watch. In most cases, there will be other kids of their age – new friends are guaranteed!


Help your child stay in touch. It is as not as hard to stay in touch when we move as it used to be – modern devices give us the ability to talk to our friends whenever and wherever you may be. Older kids will not need your help, they are savvier than us in this matter! With you being busy organising your new home, they can help their younger siblings have a chat with their friends over FaceTime or WhatsApp, or play online games with their old friends which can help them feel connected and engaged.


Moving a home is always overwhelming – physically and emotionally – for everyone in the family. But children do bounce back, and set down new roots in their new community pretty quickly – providing that they get supported by loving and understanding adult. Your new adventure awaits!