Moving can be stressful. First, you have to find the right home; next would be to get a good moving service and to cap it all, these are expected to be done in addition to your daily tasks.
Depending on their ages, your kids may find the whole process exciting, but once they realize they are leaving their present home for another, the transition can significantly affect them.
Even though you may be moving to a better neighborhood for their sake, always remember they also have lives in the present home.
Daycare buddies, high school friends, their favorite teacher, the environment, and even the mailman are some of the people they are likely to miss.
Scientifically proven effects of moving on children
Moving has different effects on children at different ages. Before you read on, this article is not to discourage you from moving.
In fact, moving has lots of advantages for children, such as exposing them to a better environment and education.
The major reason for listing this is to let you know the negative effects moving can have on your children if not done right.
A study revealed that children move about 2.5 times between birth and eighth grade on average.
These children will need time to settle into their new school and environment. They are more likely to fall behind others in the class.
Low self-esteem and Depression
After moving, children are likely to have no friends for some time. Their lagging behind in school can also be devastating for their self-esteem, leading to depression. This could be worse for introverted children.
A 2016 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine discovered that children who go through multiple moving during their childhood are at increased risk of attempted suicide, violent criminality, psychiatric illness, substance misuse, and natural and unnatural deaths. The risk is double for children at age 14.
Poorer Quality of Life
In a study published by the American Psychological Association in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, neurotic children who moved frequently were reported to have lesser life satisfaction and poorer psychological well-being.
Neuroticism is a personality trait that includes reactions such as being moody, high-strung, and nervous.
How to make moving fun and a good experience for kids
Moving does not have to be a negative experience for your kids. It could be fun for them.
According to Justin-In Time Moving & Storage, a Phoenix moving company, parents need all the time they can get to attend to their kids’ emotional needs during moving.
Hiring a moving company will afford you enough time to focus on your children.
Aside from this, below are other tips to make moving a good experience for them;
Once you decide to move, do not delay before informing your kids. Also, make sure the time between the movement and when you tell them is not too short.
Giving them a few weeks or even days to say goodbye to their friends would mean a lot and reduce the negative effect on them.
Heightened vigilance is indicated for relocated adolescents and their families, with a view to preventing longer-term adverse outcomes in this population among all socioeconomic groups.
Involve them in the move
Informing them is not enough. Let them be involved in the packing. Ask them about things they would miss in the soon-to-be previous home.
Find a way to compensate for anything they would miss. Although you may want to declutter before moving to the new place, do not dispose of items your kids are fond of.
Taking them along with you to the new home will help them retain memories of the previous and adapt better.
Before disposing of any of their belongings, ask them if they want to take them along or not.
Take them to the new home before moving
During their free time, take them to the new home so that they can familiarize themselves with the new environment and neighborhood. Ask them what they like and hate about the new place. Convince them on why you had to leave and the benefits they stand to gain in the new area.
Retain their school
If the new place is in the same district as the former, you should consider retaining their schools. This will help them cope better as it would appear not everything is changing overnight.
Monitor their emotional reactions
Once you move, keep a close watch on your kids in case there are any emotional changes. For toddlers, the new home might be scary for them because everything they have known has changed.
Always give them a warm hug. Let them play with their favorite toys from the old place, and do not change your routine.
Preschoolers will likely ask you lots of questions. Be prepared and try to answer them convincingly as much as possible.
For teens, make sure they remain engaged in activities they love. Observe them for any radical change in their behavior.
Be available for them as much as possible. Kids need all the attention and reassurance they can get during this time.