How does moving house affect childrenJuly 26, 2021
Having a family that is continually growing is one of the most amazing reasons for moving. However, this is not to say that moving with kids does not come with quite a few snags. Luckily, they are nothing that you will not be able to overcome. If you take the time to educate yourself on the topic of family relocation and learn from other people’s mistakes, there is no reason why your move should not go smoothly. One of the possibly more challenging obstacles that you will run into along the way is wondering, “How does moving house affect children?”. Nonetheless, you should not panic. Here are some informative and encouraging facts that will help you during this endeavor.
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Make your kids feel included
One of the worst things you could do is make your kids feel excluded. Moving house without being in the know will most certainly affect them negatively. Instead, make them feel safe and acknowledged. Ask them about their potential fears regarding the upcoming move and make sure to listen. Let them know that you are feeling the same way and that you will go through the tough times together. Another thing that can help relocation positively affect children is giving them chores and a chance to contribute to the process. This will, in turn, make them feel like they are helping. Let them pack their things and decide what they would like to keep.
Let your kids catch their breath
Although you should make your children feel included, you should not push them too much. If they need some time to get used to the idea of relocation, make them feel understood and respect their wishes. One of the best ways to do this is to give them some space away from the moving environment. Family or friends are your best bet here. If you have no friends or family who can take care of them for a day, it might be a good idea to hire a nanny. This will not only be helpful for your children, but for you as well. You will be able to have a productive day and organize your moving experience better.
It’s okay not to be okay
If your kids express that they are sad about leaving their friends behind or scared about making new ones, do not just brush this off. Tell them these fears and doubts are understandable and that most people feel this way when relocating. Assure your children that moving house won’t affect their social life as severely as they think and that the distance between their friends and them does not have to mean they will never see each other again.
Note that kids are much more likely to feel attached to their home, no matter how unreasonable this might seem to you. Instead of trying to cheer them up forcefully, let them stay sad for a while. Although grieving might sound overly dramatic, it is not. Understand that the house is a metaphor for everything they will be giving up once you move away.
Does relocating affect children’s intellectual development and education?
Naturally, you are wondering, How does moving house affect children?. Instead of overthinking and feeling down because of what is to come, take some time to go through facts and statistics that will show you the real picture.
Moving house affects children in many different ways. You should not generalize, but some behaviors are proven to be repetitive in those who have moved during childhood. Residential relocation that happens during early and middle childhood affects various aspects of a child’s life. It impacts social and emotional outcomes since stability is quite important early on in kids’ lives. If they relocate during middle childhood or early adolescence, children tend to perform worse in school. However, these effects are not long-lasting, so there is no reason to panic. Relocating to a new school is stressful for kids since it disrupts their academic skills and emotional functioning. However, none of this is irreparable.
It has been proven that both moving house and school affect children in more ways than one. However, changing schools has a slight advantage. This is mostly because it can affect potential emotional problems and cognitive scores. Make sure to consult a professional if your child does not get used to the new environment after a while. This, of course, does not necessarily mean that something is wrong. Everyone experiences these things differently. Nonetheless, a professional might help you by giving you some valuable advice and tools.
Settling down in a new home – think about your kid’s perspective
If you want your kids to get used to a new space, you need to put some effort into it. Have them pick what they like about your old home. Once you have dealt with the more challenging parts of relocation, bring in all the memorabilia that will help your kids settle down in the new home. If you have someone in the family that has gone through a similar experience with their kids, ask them for some advice. They might be able to point out something you have overlooked since you are just too close to the moving experience right now.
Things you can do to make moving house affect children in a good way
Instead of worrying about how moving house will affect your child, make an effort to make the effects positive.
- Make moving seem exciting.
Instead of putting the pressure of moving onto your kids, try to hold back the snarky comments and do not show them the parts where you are struggling. Show them just how fun and exciting the whole thing can be. Make them think of it as a great privilege and a cool new experience not everyone is lucky to go through.
- Tell them about all the great new people they will meet.
If your kids are extroverts that enjoy meeting new people, present them the upcoming move from that perspective. Tell them they will run into amazing people with whom they could form lifelong friendships.
- Tell them why you are moving.
If you clearly state the reason for your upcoming move, whether that is a new job or just an upgrade to a better home and neighborhood, they might feel more comfortable with the transition. We often tend to underestimate our kids. However, even when they are young, they go through stressful situations better if they can understand them.
- Organize a housewarming party.
If you organize a party as soon as you get to the new home, moving house will affect your children in a more positive light. They will see it as something that should be celebrated.
Visit your future home before moving
Asking yourself how does moving affect children is valid. However, perhaps you should ask yourself this question in a more positive light. What positive effects will the experience bring? Take a minute to do what you can to make moving house seem exciting and cheerful. One of the biggest fears that kids (and adults) have before moving is the fear of the unknown. This is why you should remove this obstacle entirely. Visit your new home a few times before relocating and explore the area together. Find fun places close to your home and make your kids fall in love with it even before they realize they will be moving there.
So, how does moving house affect children? In many ways. However, if you try your best to be understanding of their feelings and put in an effort to help them power through the stressful times, you likely will not have to worry. Remember, children are extremely adaptable and capable of adjusting to any new situation. Just give them love and time!
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