If you are moving to a new place, it might be necessary to talk to your children about what it means, or even if it’s not necessary it might be a good opportunity.
Some topics may be sensitive for your family. Keep in mind that children absorb much more than the words you say—they’re aware of your moods and attitudes too. Start a conversation when you sense it can be productive and comfortable.
For young children (ages 3-5)
Below are ideas for how to approach a conversation. For young children, conversations don’t always need to be about dollars and cents—instead, you can help them build the self-control, planning, and problem-solving skills they’ll need as adults. You can also try to work into the conversation other skills that your young child can work on, like practicing counting, waiting for what they want, thinking flexibly, and staying focused. See more about milestones your young child is reaching and how to help them.
Ask your young child to imagine what the new home will be like. Draw a picture of the new kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, staircase, or outdoors. Tell a story about what could happen in the new home. Imagine how your clothes and furniture might fit in a different room, larger or smaller.
Put your moving date on a calendar and count down the days with your child.
For school-age children to preteens (ages 6–12)
Below are ideas for how to approach a conversation. At this age, your child can build habits, values, and rules of thumb to support future financial well-being. You can try to work into the conversation other ideas that are appropriate for your preteen, like how to help them fit their experiences into the world around them, establish a system of values, resist peer pressure, and build automatic habits. See more about milestones your preteen is reaching and how to help them.
Setting up systems
Figure out how close your new home is to the things you’ll need, like a grocery store, bus stop, bank or ATM, laundromat, park, or playground. Practice the route to and from school.
Reinforce the values that led you to the decision to move. Each family is unique and yours might value a home because it offers more space, less expense, more convenience, a location closer to family or work, or many other factors. Helping your child understand the value you place on the new home gives your child a basis for thinking about their own choices.
For teenagers and young adults
Below are ideas for how to approach a conversation. You can also try to work into the conversation other ways your teenager can practice money skills, like doing their own research, comparison, and decision making. See more about milestones your teenager is reaching and how to help them.
Enlist your teenager in comparing options for packing and moving your furniture and other items. They can start by setting out criteria like experience, availability, trust, and cost, and then gather the information for three different options.
Managing day-to-day choices
Talk about the process as much as you feel comfortable, like applying for a mortgage or filling out a rental application. Ask them to look into requirements for changing your address and car information (post office, license plates, registration, and driver’s license).