How to Explain Moving to Your Child

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Need to break the move to your child?

Moving can have some harsh effects on a child‘s life. It removes them from their friends; it takes away their home; and it forces them to adapt to new people and places. Informing your child that you will be moving probably won’t be a happy conversation.

However, inform them you must, and the earlier you do it, the better. So, brace yourself for some heavy emotions and questions, sit your child down, and say the words, “we’re moving.”

Confront Your Child in a Comfortable Place

Telling your child that you’ll be moving while driving them to school would be a bad decision. You want them to be comfortable when you drop the bomb, and you want to provide them with time to talk to you about it. Good times and places to tell your child about your upcoming move include:

  • At night after dinner (perhaps your child’s favorite meal)
  • On the weekend
  • During a vacation or holiday – a festive atmosphere can add significance to the situation while maintaining a comfortable experience.

Explain Moving Details

After you get the basic point across, give your child some details, such as where you’re moving, when, and into what type of place. Explain to them where they’ll be going to school, if you know. Get all the details out there, and answer their questions.

If possible, use this as an opportunity to make your child excited about moving. Show them cool pictures of the new town. Do a little research and find some things there that will intrigue your child, such as a water park, the local baseball team or a theater.

Explain Why You’re Moving

There are a lot of reasons to move, many of them unsavory. For instance, foreclosure, a lost job and divorce are all painful reasons to have to move. However, even the most difficult reasons should be explained to your child, at least in a cursory way.

If your child is older, explaining the basis for your move will be even more important. Your child will know that there has to be a reason for moving. If you aren’t up front with your child, it can make a tough move even tougher on them.

Explain What Moving Will Be Like

You can’t know what moving will be like for your child. However, do your best to anticipate it, because the more you can prepare your child, the more relaxed they’ll be. Try to frame things in a ┬ápositive way; be optimistic.

If you had to move as a child, this would be a good time to bring up the positive experiences you had, the new friends you met, and the new things you saw.

Once you break the news, it’s time to find your kids a new school. Let them join in the search!