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Moving can be many things: exciting, overwhelming, stressful, and rewarding to name a few. However, if you’re moving with kids, you can add a few adjectives: stressful, aggravating, and exasperating might all qualify.

However, try to look at it from the kids’ perspective for a moment. They are probably leaving their friends, their local family, and the area where they have grown up and feel safe. For very small children, they might not even understand that they are moving as well, and be fearful that they’re being left behind. Here are a few things you can do to help them (and you) get ready for the big day.

First, explain as best you can what is happening. Tell older kids the reason for the move. Reassure younger kids that they are not, in fact, being left behind. In all cases, try to explain that you are doing this as a family, and that they are not going through this by themselves.

Next, make time for your kids during the moving process. Help them select special items that they can keep with them during the move. Understand that they might be unhappy or resentful. Little ones might even seem to regress a bit. This is a normal stress response. Just keep accentuating the positives of the move, while acknowledging their right to be a little scared and uncertain.

Lastly, don’t neglect self-care! This may seem like an odd thing to do in the middle of dealing with a stressful move with unhappy kids, but understand that your responding poorly to your kids will only make their behavior worse. Take care of yourself: get enough sleep, pay attention to your own stress level, and try to not be 100% focused on the upcoming move. If you are confident, your kids will notice and respond.

GreenLight Movers are experienced at moving families—even large families moving halfway around the country. Make sure to reach out to them with any questions you have or for some potential good advice on helping your kids get ready for your move without pulling out your own hair. Contact them today.