Obviously, moving house is a life-changing event. Your entire world will take different dimensions as you find yourself in different surroundings surrounded by different people with a different lifestyle and different points of view. Whether you like it or not, this completely new environment will affect you in many ways, changing you forever. It’s no wonder then, that moving house will considerably affect your children too. Even more so, the impact on their development and behavior will be much greater as youngsters have not yet formed their personality and tend to be more susceptible to new ideas and outside influences than adults.
Moving to a new home in a new city will present great challenges for your kids – they will have to adapt to the lifestyle in your new area, to learn to respect different beliefs and sets of value, to find their place in the new community, etc. Not to mention all the anxiety of entering a new phase in their lives, the fear of the unknown, and the confusion caused by the moving chaos in your home. Your kids will be taken out of their comfort zones and forced to leave their safe familiar world behind. The new school, the new people, and the new surroundings are certain to cause much stress to your young ones, so you need to dedicate a lot of time and loving care to your children in order to help them cope with moving anxiety and adjust after the relocation.
How moving house affects children’s development?
Feeling lonely and misunderstood after the relocation will certainly have quite a negative effect on your kids’ development. To avoid such problems, you need to reassure your children that everything will be fine, to get them excited about the wonderful new life you are going to have in your new city, to spark their curiosity – all in all, to develop a positive attitude towards the inevitable changes in your life. Then, your young ones will be able to benefit from the new opportunities in your new area and their personal development will receive a great boost.
New horizons will open in front of your children when you move to a new area – all the new ideas, unique points of view, and different perspectives they will get familiar with are sure to stir up their minds and enhance their general knowledge of the world. Besides, their social network will expand greatly as they will meet a lot of new people and will make many new friends.
Your kids will have to make new contacts and will get a chance to practice and improve their communication skills. Encourage them to make the first step and establish friendly relationships with other kids – provide plenty of opportunities for your little ones to meet peers, get to know each other, and eventually become friends. You can take your children out for a walk in nearby parks, take them to local playgrounds, invite neighboring kids and kids who attend the same school as your young ones to a housewarming party, etc. The fun moments children share while playing together, exploring the vicinity, or enjoying a party will give a good start for friendly relationships to develop.
Help your kids quickly find their place in the new environment to prevent loneliness, relocation depression and social withdrawal that will have quite a negative impact on their social development.
Changing schools is believed to have a negative effect on kids’ academic development for a number of reasons:
1) Different schools have different teaching methods and styles which causes confusion and often results in low academic performance;
2) Different states have different standards, so the curriculum for kids of the same age may differ considerably from state to state;
3) Youngsters fear that they may not find friends in their new school and may be ignored or even rejected by their classmates, which results in unwillingness to attend school and study;
4) The process of gaining good reputation among teachers, popularity among peers, leadership in school sports teams or artistic clubs, etc. is long and difficult, so kids often feel overwhelmed and have no enthusiasm to prove themselves in school;
5) The time lost in the moving process also contributes to the academic difficulties your children may experience shortly after the relocation, especially when moving during the school year.
However, you can easily avoid most of the above problems, provided that you:
- find a good educational facility that offers friendly environment and exciting extracurricular activities;
- explain the situation to teachers, school psychologists and officials and ask them for understanding and help;
- help your child cope with bulky homework and complicated school projects;
- enroll your kid in popular afterschool activities;
- discuss at length any fears and concerns your child has and help him/her find an appropriate solution.
Remind your kids that a new school is an opportunity to start anew, to assert themselves, and not to make the mistakes they did in their previous school.
A move to a new area can actually help youngsters advance in their studies and ignite their passion for knowledge, inventions, and discoveries. It’s up to you to arouse your kids’ enthusiasm and encourage them to pursue their scientific interests.
SEE ALSO: How to move with a school-aged child
Your new area will certainly offer plenty of new opportunities, so research the options and encourage your child to practice whatever activities he/she finds interesting – sports, arts, crafts, music, dancing, acting, etc. New hobbies and occupations will stimulate your kid’s creativity, resourcefulness and talents, and will help improve his/her self-esteem, self-discipline and self-consciousness. What’s more, your child will have the chance to meet other kids who have similar interests and to make new friends.
To make sure that your relocation will have no negative impact on your kid’s physical development, you need to:
- Move to a safe neighborhood where your child will be able to play at will without any risks for his/her well-being;
- Settle in an area that offers plenty of recreational opportunities and chances for outdoor pursuits (abundant green areas, sports centers, etc.);
- Find a good new family physician and ensure quality healthcare.
How moving house affects children’s behavior?
For better or for worse, moving house will inevitable result in a change in your children’s behavior. After the relocation your young ones will probably become:
- More independent – your kids will have little choice but to struggle with their fears and cope on their own during the arduous moving process and the stressful post-relocation period. Of course, you’ll be there to support them, but it’s them who have to overcome the difficulties and assert themselves in their new environment. Besides, you can tactfully boost your children’s self-confidence and problem-solving abilities during the moving process – ask them to decide which of their possessions to take and make them organize and pack their personal items, give them important tasks to complete (age-appropriate, of course), charge them with responsibility for their actions, consult with them about the interior of their new room and some other arrangements in the house, etc. Your kids will be happy that their opinion matters and proud that have successfully coped with their tasks;
SEE ALSO: How to move with a teenager
- More reliable – when young children are assigned meaningful tasks and expected to make decisions on their own, they try really hard to do well and prove how trustworthy they have become. The relocation process will provide your child with plenty of opportunities to do so. Besides, your young one will learn to analyze the situations, research the possible options, and make informed decisions, which will inevitably result in a mature attitude and reliable behavior;
- Closer with you – anxious and frustrated by the abrupt changes in their life, children will resort to you for love and emotional support. Be careful not to waste this unique chance to improve your relationship with your little angels, to earn their trust, to ease their anxieties, to restore their feeling of security, to share their hopes and dreams – in one word, to become their best friend. After all, the relocation will make you partners in your struggle for a better new life.
When moving to a new place, adolescents have the opportunity to turn into the person they have always wanted to be, to remove the old masks and reveal their true selves, to correct past mistakes. The fresh start in their lives will result in significant changes in their behavior and will greatly affect their development – you just need to find a way to turn it for the better.