Moving with children

Whilst parents must deal with the stress of the move, a very long “TO-DO” list and all the logistics of what’s being moved, and how to do it! Well, when it comes to moving with children, there is one unbreakable rule:


Keep your information simple, your tone of voice calm and remember they have different priorities than you.

It is important to understand and listen to children, no matter what age they are. Young children can be upset by something that really is an easy fix to an adult. For example, they might worry that “Mr Teddy is going to get scared closed in that box, it’s dark in there.” So how about putting some happy stickers inside the box, or placing Mr Teddy next to Little Miss Sunshine. Easy.

The concern amongst older children is usually to do with their peer group. Talk through keeping in contact with their friends, there is a lot of technology out there today to keep the teenagers connected, with online games they can still play together, or set up a Skype schedule to call. If possible, plan the next time they will meet, that way, they don’t feel like they are saying goodbye forever, but more like the “Till we meet again.”

Regardless of age, research your new surroundings as much as possible. If a visit to the new area is not an option, then look on-line.

What will the children want in their new location? Find something positive to look forward to. I had a family who was excited that the snow was only 3 hours from Melbourne, so they planned a long weekend at the snow. It could be something simple like a particular food, or a tram ride. Jump online and plan the new beginnings in a positive way. Use Google Maps to see nearby parks, beach, and restaurants. Get involved in what’s new and exciting.

On moving day:

If the child is not of an age where they can help on moving day, it is best to get them out of the way.  It’s OK to see the truck arrive and feel all the excitement, but by midmorning it will already start getting too much.  Save them from your stress by having them go to a friend for a few hours. It is a distraction, and they would love to spend as much time as possible with their friends before they leave.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Others know the stress of moving and are usually happy to come collect your kids on moving day.

Jobs for children on the day could include:

  • Sticking labels on boxes,
  • Helping tape boxes closed, or taping the bottom of empty boxes (but please check they are taped correctly!)
  • Collecting all the keys for the house – nothing worse than realising they have been packed in a box!
  • Small children will love to decorate their own boxes. Give them stickers and markers to decorate with. Glow in the dark stickers for inside the box are a hit for a box that might have special toys in.

Settling in

You should not pack these items into any box; they should accompany you and be on hand as soon as you want to start the school enrolment:

School reports

Your children’s maths and English books – to give to their new teacher, so they can identify the work covered to date. If applicable, proof of the level of reading they are at.

Immunization records

If you know the uniform at the new school, and there are similarities between what they are currently wearing, then keep these items with you, so you don’t duplicate your buying. Examples could be a white buttonup shirt, black leather shoes, or white socks.

At Personnel Relocations, we can help you to shortlist schools that are right for your child. We can arrange tours and support you every step of the way.  Remember, we have moved with children. We understand your concerns about moving with children and the children’s emotions.  Talk to us. We can guide you.


FREE download: Cost of Living and International Move Checklist

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