While moving to a new home can be exciting, it can also be stressful, especially for the youngest members of your family. If you are a single parent, this stress can be magnified as you single-handedly deal with all the other ins and outs of moving, as well. To help reduce stress and make the moving process smoother, it’s good to start getting your child ready long before moving day arrives. To help preserve unity and peace, here are some ways that single parents can help their children prepare for a move.

Highlight Neighborhood Perks

One of the biggest hurdles for kids to overcome is apprehension about their new neighborhood. To help overcome this hurdle, it’s a great idea to play up the different perks of the neighborhood you’re moving to. Highlight features such as parks, local attractions, local wildlife, and other points of interest to help get your child excited about their new location. If your new neighborhood is in driving distance, you can drive there to help your child get a better feel for where they’ll call home.

Help Your Children Take Ownership

Another big hurdle that kids deal with is that they feel like they don’t have any control over the home-buying and moving process. While it’s true that this is a mostly grown-up process, that doesn’t mean you have to leave your children totally out of the loop. You can let your children look with you at various home options so they can give you their opinions about their likes and dislikes. If you’re considering new homes for sale, you can even allow your children to help you pick some of the interior finishes to allow them to have instant ownership in the process.

Provide a Schedule

When kids are anticipating a move, the last thing you want to do is surprise them with moving milestones. That’s why it’s important to have an easy-to-understand schedule that includes important dates so that your children know what to expect and when to expect it. If your children are younger, you can do something as simple as a countdown paper chain. Simply connect multiple strips of paper in a chain and then remove one strip each day as you approach your moving date so that your children know how many days remain until the move.

Be Available to Talk

Throughout the moving process, it’s likely that your children will have at least a few questions about what’s happening. It’s important to make yourself available during this time so that your children know they aren’t facing the process alone. By quickly and clearly answering their questions, you can help your children to overcome their apprehension, helping to make the entire process smoother.

Show Lots of Love

Big changes in a child’s life can sometimes mean big changes in their behavior, as well. Even well-behaved children may suddenly start to act in undesirable ways during a major event such as a move. While it’s important to remain consistent with your discipline, it’s good to use an extra dose of patience and grace as you deal with any misbehavior to ensure you don’t make the problem worse. By letting your children know that you’re on their side, you will all make it through the moving process more united than ever.