Happy family packing dishes together in their living-room

If you moved as a kid, you probably remember how heart-wrenching it was to leave your old home and friends, and how scary it was to think about living somewhere new—what if you didn’t like it, or didn’t fit in? As a parent, you can help your children adjust more easily to a move. Prepare the groundwork with these simple tips from our North Dallas Moving and Storage moving professionals:

Talk about your move right away. Though you might think you’re shielding your kids by waiting to tell them about a move, the experts at KidsHealth suggest that you give your children as much information about the move as soon as possible. Kids, like adults, need time to become accustomed to the idea of living in a new place. Not only that, but they can usually tell when adults are keeping secrets from them, and may become anxious if they sense that something is up.

Involve kids in planning. When children participate in a move, they feel more like they’re part of the decision and less like someone forced into a change. Keep them in the loop: Create a calendar of important dates for packing and moving. Let them make any appropriate choices, like the color of the paint in their new bedrooms.

Don’t be too quick to get rid of things. Children, especially toddlers, feel comfort in the familiarity of their possessions and furniture. You may be dying to get rid of that raggedy blanket, but don’t do it during a move.

Hold off on other big changes. Moving isn’t the time to work on weaning  or toilet training Wait until the new house feels safe and familiar before making any other big changes in kids’ lives.

Help kids say “goodbye” to their old home. Encourage your children to take photos of their soon-to-be-old house, yard, and neighborhood. You can even make a “goodbye book” with your children, placing the photos in the book and writing down anecdotes about each one. You may want to throw a going-away party. Leslie Levine, author of Will This Place Ever Feel Like Home?, held a goodbye party for her daughter where she gave out stamped cards complete with their new address.

And “hello” to their new one. Have fun together imagining how you might decorate your child’s new bedroom. Draw pictures, or even a floorplan. If you’re moving across town, take a trip (or two) to visit the new house and check out the neighborhood. If you’re moving further away, find as much info as you can about your new home, whether from travel websites, maps, or even GoogleEarth. virtual offices . Figure out things you want to do in your new neighborhood (visit the library, feed the ducks at the park, go to the children’s museum) and make dates to do them. Find photos of landmarks, and mark them on maps so your family can recognize them when you arrive.

Moving is never easy on anyone. But by engaging your kids in the preparations for the move, helping them say “goodbye’ to their old home, and encouraging them to look forward to their new one, you can help your family cope better with the change.