For many families,  summer time, is when they choose to move.  Families choose to move during this season, because they wanted their children to finish out the school year with their friends, or perhaps, their company’s fiscal year ends in June/July, and the employee obtained a promotion, was laid off or was transferred.   Still other families move, because it’s easier to move in the summer, instead of in the midst of the holidays in December or the snow covered streets of January.

Moving can be scary or intimidating for children, they leave the home they know, their friends and their school.  On the other hand, it can be exciting, and adventurous.   Parents report that when their children are involved in the moving process, it can be easier on the family system.  So how can families have a smooth transition?

Talk about it!  Some families will avoid the discussion, or minimize the fact that the family will be making this big transition.  Kids want to know where they will sleep, where they will go to school and if there are other kids around.  Having a plan in place helps the child see that there is order/stability in the midst of this event.  By having these discussions with them, it’ll help lessen their anxieties.  Families can check books out at the library about moving, draw pictures about the old home versus the new home, great a timeline on the refrigerator, etc.

Each child should have their own box, that should be the last on the truck, and first off the truck. Some families keep this box in their cars as they drive to the new location.    In this box, are all the things that are important to have right away,  their bedding, their favorite toy, stuffed animal, games, artwork, etc.   This will allow them to feel more comfortable in their new space, right away, versus waiting for their parents to unpack their stuff weeks later.

Allow the children to have a goodbye party or goodbye day, to allow for closure.  This doesn’t have to be big, it can be taking pictures of friends, neighbors, and teachers, or it can be a pizza party the day before the movers arrive.  Some families even choose to create a memory book of this transition.

Bottom line, moving can cause a disruption in a child’s life, however if the adults are positive and handle it  with patience and grace, it will make a huge impact on how the children experience it.  If you are moving this summer, good luck with this new chapter in your life!



Jennie Wilson is a child and adolescent therapist. She holds the credentials of a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor