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  • Writer's pictureDoug Livingston

Preparing Your Children for a State-to-State Move: Transitioning to a New Home and School

State-to-state moving can be a significant and sometimes overwhelming experience for children. Leaving behind friends, school, and the familiarity of their current home can trigger a range of emotions in children, from excitement to anxiety. As parents, it's essential to prepare your children for the move and provide them with the support they need during this transition. In this article, we will focus on offering valuable tips on how to prepare your children for a smooth and positive move to their new home and school.

Have Open and Honest Conversations

Have Open and Honest Conversations: Initiate open and honest conversations with your children about the state-to-state move. Explain the reasons for the move and allow them to express their feelings and concerns. Be patient and understanding, reassuring them that their feelings are valid and that you are there to support them.

Involve Children in the Moving Process

Involve Children in the Moving Process: Engage your children in the moving process by involving them in decision-making when possible. Allow them to pack their belongings, choose some items to bring in the car with them, and provide input on their new room's decor. This involvement can help them feel a sense of ownership and excitement about the move.

Research the New Area Together

Research the New Area Together: Explore the new state together as a family. Research and learn about the local attractions, parks, and activities available in the new area. This will help your children become familiar with their new surroundings and build excitement about the move.

Visit the New School in Advance

Visit the New School in Advance: If possible, arrange a visit to the new school before the move. Tour the school, meet teachers, and allow your children to get a feel for their new learning environment. Familiarity with the school can alleviate some anxiety about the unknown.

Maintain Routines and Familiarity

Maintain Routines and Familiarity: As much as possible, maintain familiar routines during the state-to-state move. Consistency can provide a sense of stability for children amidst the changes. Stick to established meal times, bedtime routines, and other daily rituals.

Host a Goodbye Gathering

Host a Goodbye Gathering: Before leaving, consider hosting a small goodbye gathering with friends and classmates. This gives your children the opportunity to say goodbye, exchange contact information, and create lasting memories with their friends.

Use Books and Stories to Explain the Move

Use Books and Stories to Explain the Move: Read books or stories about moving to new places with your children. These books can help them understand that moving is a common experience and can offer comfort during this transition.

Plan a Special Moving Day Activity

Plan a Special Moving Day Activity: Plan a special activity for moving day, such as a picnic at a park or a stop at a fun roadside attraction. This will provide a positive distraction during the journey and create a memorable experience for your children.

Keep Essential Items Accessible

Keep Essential Items Accessible: Pack a "Moving Day Box" with essential items such as favorite toys, comfort objects, and snacks. Keep this box accessible during the move so that your children can find comfort in familiar belongings during travel.

Be Patient and Allow Time to Adjust

Be Patient and Allow Time to Adjust: Be patient and understanding as your children adjust to their new state, home, and school. It's normal for them to experience a mix of emotions during this transition. Provide a supportive and nurturing environment to help them feel secure and loved.


Preparing your children for a state-to-state move is crucial for a smooth and positive transition. By having open and honest conversations, involving them in the moving process, and researching the new area together, you can create a sense of excitement and familiarity about the move. Visiting the new school in advance and maintaining familiar routines can ease their anxiety about the changes. Plan special activities, read books about moving, and keep essential items accessible during the move to provide comfort and distraction. Most importantly, be patient and allow your children the time they need to adjust to their new state, home, and school. With your love and support, your children will thrive and embrace the new opportunities that await them in their state-to-state move.

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