We all know that moving house is generally not a fun time. With so much planning, spending, and the dreaded packing, moving can be incredibly stressful.
You might be moving out of necessity for your job or financial situation, or simply looking to start a new life or have a change of scenery. In any case, it might be easy to overlook how it affects your children.
It is incredibly important to think about how your potential move will influence your kids as it might cause more stress in the long run. You need to consider your children’s needs when planning for a move in order to foster a healthy living environment both in your old and eventual new homes.
Here are 6 ways moving can affect your children, both negatively and positively.
- Loss of routine
One of the most prominent effects of moving to a new home is how almost all routines are disrupted. Making arrangements for your move, packing up your items, and of course, the moving day is all full of disruptions.
During such a busy time, you might find that your regular meal times shift, or you will have to put off a few regular routines such as the quick run to the shops or a short walk in the park.
Children rely on routine and if they are not able to partake in these regular rituals, it can be upsetting for them. In such a tumultuous period, it could be difficult for them to progress on their development or even focus on school. You might find that your kids revert back to their old ways, such as throwing tantrums or insisting on sleeping in your room.
- Reduced well-being
According to a study conducted on adults who moved around many times as a child, moving can result in lower well-being and life satisfaction. This reduced well-being, however, depends on the personality of the person.
Extroverts are able to handle the move much better, while introverts have trouble adjusting to the move. This is because outgoing children are able to re-establish new social relationships in their new area, which is incredibly important.
This shows that when planning your move, think about your child’s personality in order to be fully prepared—make sure you have the proper support systems in place.
- Increased stress
Changing homes and schools can be very stressful for children. Overall, this can have a negative effect on their personality and attitude. In this chaotic time, your kids might have irritated, angry reactions to people around them.
Throw in the risk that they will run into difficulties when adjusting to new surroundings, bullying, or a lack of a sense of belonging and the move becomes even more stressful.
As a parent, you want to ensure that your child is able to quickly and properly adapt to their new environment. That is why it is important to find the best possible school and to communicate clearly with them.
But before you start panicking about your move, know that these negative effects are only at their worst when you move house often. You are also able to prevent these effects with preparation—have an honest talk with them about the changes, focus on the good aspects of a move, and involve them as much as possible in the decision making process.
If done well, your move will go smoothly and actually help with your children’s development.
- Learning how to deal with change
Having an open talk, allowing your children to ask any questions or voice their concerns, is crucial in helping them to understand the concept of change.
You need to tell them well in advance that there will be some alterations to their normal routines for a short while. Let them pack their own things or choose how to decorate their new room. This is because if your kids feel like they are being left out of all decisions, they won’t be able to handle the big changes well.
This will help them to process and understand the fact that their items are not disappearing forever and that moving can be an exciting time as well.
- Develop a sense of adventure
Once you focus on the good things that come with moving, your children will have a better outlook on the whole situation. For example, emphasise that moving means they can meet the neighbours, make new friends, and explore a whole new area—the perfect chance to go on more weekend trips!
Moving to a new area could help make your children more outgoing and open to new things. This wider perspective is incredibly useful in their development and in later life. With an ability to accept new environments, your children will be able to bolster their natural curiosity and seek adventures.
- Strengthen bonds
While it is important for your children to look at the move positively, it is even more important that you maintain a good attitude about everything as well!
Your mood greatly influences how your children feel. If your children see that you are calm, they will be able to feel more relaxed and actually enjoy the moving process. Staying positive about everything reassures them that things will be okay, further strengthening the trust between you and your children.