Moving can be stressful for every member of the family—children included. Depending on the age of children, their fears about a move vary from child to child, but most children approach the idea of moving with some hesitation.
One out of five Canadian families move into a new home each year. Some families experience a stressful time two weeks before and two weeks after a move. For many families, the actual move is a time when everyone pitches in and works together. Reality starts to sink in about a month later. People then begin to realize how much they miss friends and places they left behind. Confusion, frustration, and anger are common emotions at this time. Even if you are upgrading to a bigger house in a nicer neighbourhood, adjusting can be very difficult.
If the move is coupled with financial problems, a death or divorce, this can makes the anxiety worse, stretching children’s coping skills to the limit. Short-term counseling may help children through this challenging time. It often takes as long as two years before children begin to feel comfortable in their new home.
No matter what the reason for a move, coping is especially tough for kids. Small children thrive on predictability and their sense of security is closely tied to familiar faces, places and activities. Older children will feel the social impact of a move the most. They miss old friends and worry about making new ones. For pre-teens and teens, fitting in is of the utmost importance and having to re-establish themselves in a new and possibly very different social environment is a scary prospect.
Read the full article for tips on how to make the move easier on your kids.