Preparing Children for a Move

MH900044840Moving requires much planning and preparation.  The natural to-do list includes gathering moving boxes, sorting through clutter, packing, researching the new location, informing others of new address, etc.  Whether short or long-distance, it is important to prepare children for a relocation.  Here are some helpful tips to consider:

1. Be as specific as possible (and age-appropriate) with your explanation of the moving process.  This includes:

  • Wait until your move is definite before you inform your children to avoid confusion.
  • Take them to visit the new home or city prior to the actual move date if possible.
  • Show your children pictures or websites of relevant new surroundings, including school, neighborhood, etc.

2. Stay positive regarding the move process.  If either parent is resistant to the move, children are less likely to have a smooth and easy transition.

  • If the move is due to factors outside of your control, search for the silver lining or at least one positive change to which you can look forward.
  • Take fun breaks during the packing and moving process to de-stress and energize.  For example, go outside with the children and blow bubbles, have a picnic lunch break, or sing a farewell song to the house or apartment.
  • Talk with your children about how change is a positive opportunity for growth and learning new lessons.  Explain how transition occurs in nature, including the metamorphosis of a butterfly or frog, or how a tree starts as a seed that grows through different stages.

Children often adapt easily to change if they are prepared in a positive way.  The older they are, the more challenging the process may be and the longer the adjustment may take as attachment to friends is common.  Validate their feelings of sadness, anger, and fear, explain that change is scary for most people, and allow safe healthy ways for them to express their feelings.  Routine is also critical so try to follow their routine through the process, such as dinner time and bedtime.

Best wishes for a happy, successful, and exciting move! :)




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About Kimberly Rodgers, LCSW, RPT-S

Kimberly is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Florida and Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor through the Association for Play Therapy. She also supervises clinical social work interns pursuing licensure. She has worked as a psychotherapist for twelve years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia and Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida.

Her experience includes foster care, adoption, youth shelter, youth related research, school-based counseling, and sexual assault crisis center settings prior to private practice. She specializes in counseling children, families, and adults struggling with stress, anxiety, trauma, and adjustment to life transitions. Kimberly is a current Board member of the Mental Health Association of Southwest Florida and former Vice-President of the Southwest Florida chapter of the Association for Play Therapy. She is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers and EMDR International Association.

Kimberly is founder of Monarch Wellness (originally Monarch Therapy), an integrative center focused on empowering individuals and families through emotional and behavioral metamorphosis. In addition to counseling and play therapy, the center offers other supportive modalities to further enhance emotional healing and stress management including support groups, yoga, laughter yoga, breathwork, integrative relaxation, and sound therapy. Monarch Wellness' sister site offers health related information and inspiration for everyday families to live healthier every day. The center is also involved with House of Gaia community center and other community and service focused organizations. More information about Kimberly and her practice can be found online:

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