Many adults look forward to moving with to a new home, anticipating the pleasant chores of making the new home warm and welcoming, but for children, the news of a move can be alarming.

This is completely normal and parents should support their children. Here’s how to stay on the same page with your kids, promote family well-being, and stay there when they need you most.

1. Keep an eye on your child
The health of your children is the most important thing to prevent accidents or injuries. While you’re busy packing and organizing the move, it’s easy to lose track of your kids. Ask another adult to watch your child while you prepare for the move. You can even ask to take your children to a park or other place.

2. Help them find answers to their questions.
Depending on the age and personality of your children, they may be concerned about what their new environment will be like. How will they become friends? What will the new home be like? Will school be fun? Make a list of questions you think they’ll have and sit down to answer them as early as possible before the move. It’s also okay if you don’t have an answer to a particular question. Remind them that uncertainty is normal and you will overcome any difficulties together because you are family.

3. Find someone who will support your child in a new place.
For example, a teacher, neighbor or coach can help you adjust to a new school and area. Contact the school or community organizations you will be involved in to find out who your children can contact with questions. Partnering with a trusted adult can be key to ensuring your children feel supported in your absence and can turn to another person when they want to talk about their feelings.

Moving with children

Family with cardboard boxes after moving into new house

4. Explore a new place together
Do some research by checking out your school and community social media pages to see what fun events happen there each year and how you can prepare your kids for the first few weeks. Select photos or videos you want to share with your children and make a list of things you can do before the move to help them keep up with trends or traditions. Something as simple as buying a sweatshirt or learning the school song. This may be enough to make your children feel more comfortable.

5. Take care of each other
Moving is a physical and mental workout for you and your children. Preparing for a move, packing your things, going to bed later than usual, your body may be on edge. Whenever possible, keep children on a daily routine and make sure they get enough rest. If you think they are sick, take them to the doctor before moving. When your children feel better, they will be more able to accept change.

6. Let your emotions out
How do your children currently cope with stress? Children (and adults) need an emotional outlet to express themselves, whether through art, music, or sports. If they don’t have any hobbies, try getting them involved in new hobbies or activities now. Find something that’s easy to do, anytime, anywhere. This is very important while they are adjusting to their new home.

7. Support your child
Children often worry for two reasons: they want you to solve their problems or they just want you to listen to them. Try to recognize when your children are asking for help or simply want to be listened to. In the case of older children, the latter is most likely. Sometimes talking can be enough to help them through the transition.

Your children may need a little extra support during these changes. Even if they tell you that they are unhappy with the move, support them. They need your support to learn to cope with change.