Moving? Help Children Take Relocation in Stride

Since summer camp is nearing to an end and many of our students are moving to elementary schools we came across an article that will interest many of our parents. The article is Written by: Malia Jacobson
Date: March 1, 2014

Changing addresses — and sometimes schools, communities and friends — is a rite of passage for millions of children. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the average American moves nearly 12 times in a lifetime, with two to three moves occurring before the age of 18. While a new hometown can be exciting, expansive and fun, it can also make a child’s world feel topsy-turvy. Here’s age-by-age guidance on helping children take a move in stride.

Ages 2-5
Facing Fears

Moves aren’t just hard on older children and teens — very young children are affected by moving, too. Toddlers and preschoolers thrive on predictability, so a move that interrupts the daily routine can be distressing, especially if it means parting with a familiar school, favorite park or cherished relative.

“Some children are very upset by moving,” says Deborah Pardee, a psychotherapist and core faculty member at University of the Rockies in Colorado Springs, Colo. “Parents can help in this process by recognizing that the child is going to experience loss, and talking about it.”

Assure children that favorite people and places won’t be forgotten. Make a memory book full of photos and mementos from the old house and hometown. Little ones may fear forgetting something important at the old house or even of being left behind themselves. Reassure fearful tots that the moving van will deliver all of their toys and furniture to the new house. Show your child driving routes or plane tickets, and talk about how all family members, including Fido and Fluffy, will arrive safe and sound at the new house.