Explaining to children that the family is moving

It’s been a trope of children’s books for ages. A kid finds out he’s moving, gets sad because he’s going to have to leave his old friends, moves to the new location makes a friend the first day, and everyone lives happily after. Conveniently, the authors of these books leave out the part where junior calls you “the worst parents ever” and threatens to tie himself to the gatepost on moving day. The thing is, the children’s book scenario will happen, eventually, but it’s going to take a little bit of a huddle with the troops before it does. So how do you talk to your children about moving?

Well, at Colonial Van Lines, we’re certainly no authorities on the subject of parenting. But we have moved a lot of families with kids and, as far as we know, none of them actually tied themselves to their gateposts on moving day, so we assume that there is a way to go about it. We did a bit of research, and here’s what we came up with. We hope it helps!

Talking to Children About Moving

It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it! If that someone is you, here are a few tips on talking to children about moving.

Tell Them Early

Chances are your kids may be just a tad resentful because you made the decision, and they are suffering the consequences. While feelings of indignance, bitterness, and resulting demonstrations of sullenness may not be avoidable, they can be mitigated by telling the kids early.  This way you can get them in on the early stages of planning and encourage them to get involved.

Family Meeting

When you’re talking to children about moving, a good team huddle is essential. For best results, all family members should be present and the meeting should occur at home. Emotions have been known to run high, and you don’t want anyone to have a meltdown in Souplantation. Also, you may not want to announce the meeting beforehand, so no one gets weirded out. Just plow through it and trust the process.

Let the Voices of the Children Be Heard

Yes, they may scream, cry, stomp on the floor, and accuse you of not loving them, but the important part is to let them do it. Let them ask questions, and remember to practice active listening skills! More on active listening at mindtools.com.

Stand Firm in Your Decision

 If your kids sense that you’re feeling doubtful about the move ahead, they’ll become even more anxious than they already are. If you are still on the fence about your decision, discuss it with another grownup.  You don’t want the kids to grow up with adjustment problems when they hit puberty.

Give the Kids All the Information They Need

Can there ever be TMI when you’re talking to the children about moving? The truth is kids tend to get overwhelmed by too much information (hence the poor grades in history).  So, when you discuss moving with the family, keep the details to a minimum. 

Field Questions

Why is the sky blue? Is the moon made of cheese? And most upsettingly, why does grandpa’s water smell funny? Some questions are difficult to answer, questions about moving not so much. When your kids ask you about moving, answer them as honestly and openly as possible. If you don’t know the answer, try, “I don’t know.” Remember to let them voice their opinions and express their emotions.

Be Positive

Never underestimate the power of positivity! Tell the kids about all the advantages of the move, and why it will be better for the whole family. Be honest, though;  kids have a sixth sense for insincerity.

Team Spirit

Let the kids know that you’re all in this together and that you’re going to need their help to make it happen. Reassure them that you’ll be there for them if they feel angry or frustrated.

Keep the Conversation Going

Now that you’ve got the conversation started, keep it going by holding regular family meetings. These can be used to keep everyone updated, provide details, assign tasks, and allow kids to ask questions.

Put Colonial Van Lines on Your Team

Talking to the kids about moving is difficult; finding the right moving company doesn’t have to be.  At Colonial Van Lines, we do things right. And as the Nation’s Top-Rated Moving Company, we’re more than happy to help.

A Full-Service Moving Company

At Colonial Van Lines, we never start something we can’t finish. So, when you hire us, we get the job done, whatever it takes.  We provide end to end service with flexible, affordable packages customized to fit your needs and budget. And we never leave you in the lurch, no matter what your move entails.


Whether you’ve done some of it, most of it, or none of it, Colonial Van Lines will help you get it out of the way. Our expert packers know how to pack items correctly, quickly, and safely. We use our unique materials to make sure your belongings are well taken care of throughout the trip and until they reach their destination. Count on us to get your packing done and done (well).


Need space? Whether you want to make more of it for yourself or need some of it to store your items, Colonials Van Lines has a warehouse facility ready to accommodate. Our clean, climate-controlled, and safe units are available for both long and short-term storage. We’ve got flexible, affordable packages to fit every storage scenario.

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