What To Consider When Relocating Your Family

Relocating — especially changing schools — is tough for children. While adults often concentrate on financial concerns, logistics, and the physical act of moving, kids are more intensely affected emotionally. Moving can cause them to feel anxious, scared, and even angry. These emotions can manifest particularly during early childhood, potentially leading to problems with social skills, emotional regulation, and academics.

For parents, this implies many factors need consideration when preparing kids for a move. Let’s delve into research and share tips to make the transition smoother and less stressful for your family.

Unfortunately, studies indicate that even one move can negatively affect school-aged children. Research by the MacArthur Foundation found that moving during childhood is linked to nearly six months of lost educational progress. Furthermore, it correlates with lower educational attainment and reduced earnings in adulthood.

Young children — from birth to five years old — typically experience fewer long-term effects. However, children aged six to ten face significant short- and long-term consequences. The study revealed that moving during this critical period could result in earnings reductions of up to 44% later in life. Additionally, frequent relocations during childhood increase the likelihood of reporting lower life satisfaction and poorer psychological well-being as adults.

Why is moving at this age so harmful? Middle childhood, ages six to ten, is a key period for essential milestones in social and emotional development. Children frequently moving during this time may face setbacks or struggle to meet developmental goals. This can lead to academic, behavioral, and social issues, fostering feelings of powerlessness and loss.

What can parents do to help? If possible, delay the move until the end of the school year. Uprooting children mid-year disrupts their current environment and can exacerbate adverse effects. Allowing kids to complete the school year provides stability and continuity.

Engaging children in the moving process can also help. Though they may experience strong emotions, giving them a voice and involving them in decisions can reduce anxiety. Simple choices like helping choose the new room’s color or packing their belongings can provide a sense of control.

If you’re considering local movers in San Diego or planning a long-distance move, it’s crucial to pay attention to your child’s emotional needs throughout the process. Focusing on their feelings and involving them can help make the transition smoother and more positive.