The Best Books For Helping Children Cope With Moving

Monday, September 11, 2017
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The last time we moved was 11 years ago. Emma was 4 years old, and Harper was only 3 months old. At four, Emma was very aware of what was happening. She had never moved before, and she didn't know what to expect from the moving process and from own new home. Moving is difficult for children.

Anything that threatens the status quo is a potential threat to their survival and needs to be addressed. The problem was I had no idea how to address the situation since we had never been through a move with our family. Adults are able to use the mental tools they’ve built up over the course of their lives to cope with a move. But children don’t have this level of understanding or forethought: they just see the fact that they’re moving and assume it’s going to be for the worse.

The challenge for parents is to try to help kids cope with what’s happening and to accept it. Most children will be vocal in their opposition, but parents need to remember that many will internalize their feelings and keep them to themselves. That’s why it’s important, even if your child seems okay, to broach the subject regardless.

I found books to be a great way to open up a conversation about moving. They help put into words thoughts and feelings that children might be having, giving external voice to their inner torment. They also help your child relate to the characters who are experiencing the same fears and feelings. You might be experiencing similar emotions too, worrying about whether the move will be a good thing overall for your family and if everybody will thrive or not.

According to, parents worry about damage being done to their property during transit, just as children are concerned about whether they will be able to see their friends again. Don’t just announce that you’re moving and expect your kids to deal with it. Here are a few of my favorite books for helping children cope with a move.

A Tiger Called Thomas by Charlotte Zolotow
Thomas the Tiger suddenly finds himself the new kid on the block, lonely and without any friends. The good news, though, is that he soon finds like-minded people. Soon enough, he’s out on the town for a night of trick-or-treating and having a great time.

Who Will Be My Friends? by Syd Hoff
One of the biggest concerns children have about moving is who will be their friends says This was Freddy’s concern in the book when he moved to a new city. He spends a long time looking for new friends, and ultimately all his hard work pays off.

I’m Not Moving, Mama by Nancy White Carlstrom
When children don’t want to do something, they can be stubborn. And who can blame them when it comes to moving house? I’m Not Moving, Mama is a story which explores Little Mouse’s desire to stay put in his room when moving day comes around. Does Little Mouse eventually leave with the rest of his family? You’ll have to read the whole story to find out.

Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Bears are constantly on the move, looking for new places to scratch their backs and find fresh fish. Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day tells the story of a bear family that decided to move to a tree house in Bear Country. They soon discovered that their new digs weren't so bad.

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