Most people move several times throughout their life. Many times it is to a different house or apartment in the same city. However, some people need to move to a different city at some point in their life. Unfortunately, moving is more challenging when you have kids, but it is easier to manage at some ages than others.
What Is the Worst Age to Move a Child?
When you have kids, you are no longer only responsible for yourself. If you take a job across the country, it impacts your spouse and kids. If they are only a year old, they will not know if you move, but a 16-year-old might resent you for it. So, what is the worst age to move a child?
Typically, it is more difficult to move children as they get older. When kids are in preschool or elementary school, they can quickly make friends in a new city. Young children are welcoming, and as a result, it is easier for kids under the age of 10 to make new friends.
Moving during a child’s tween years can be challenging because a lot is changing in their lives. They are going through puberty, and as a result, it is a very awkward time in life. So, you should approach your children with some grace if you move them at this age.
However, the worst time to move a child is when they are in high school. By this time, they likely have a large circle of friends they have known for close to a decade. Additionally, they could have a boyfriend or girlfriend. So, teenagers will likely be emotional if you move them in their final years of adolescence.
Can Moving be Traumatic for Kids?
Before you move, you must consider the repercussions. Moving can be traumatic for kids in several ways. You are taking them away from their friends, school, and everything they have ever known. If you are moving them because of a divorce, it can be even more traumatic.
Unfortunately, moving is one of the leading causes of depression in children. Moving might not seem like a big deal to adults. After all, we have a much smaller circle of friends as adults than as children, so we are not leaving many people behind. When a kid moves, they are leaving behind every friend they have ever had, so it should be no surprise it can cause depression.
Parents must be aware of the signs of depression if they uproot their family and move them to another city. Depression can show itself in many ways, but common symptoms include academic decline, self-arm, sudden appetite or weight changes, sleeping problems, and withdrawal from friends and family.
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Some Tips That Can Help You to Move a Child
Unfortunately, you might not have a choice when you move to a different city. You might need to move to keep your job, and if that is the case, you have no choice but to move. Sadly, your reasons will not soften the blow to your children’s happiness. So, we want to look at some things you should do to help your child through the moving process.
Talk to Them First and Make Them Understand
Although their brains have not fully developed, children are smarter than you think. They are very empathetic and understanding. So, it is crucial to be honest with them about the situation. Explain to them why the move is happening, and be understanding of how they are feeling. Try to make them understand why the move is happening. They will still be sad, but they might not hold a grudge against you if they understand.
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Show Them Pictures of Your New Place
One of the best ways to eliminate feelings of dread in your children is to get them excited. If you show them pictures of your new house, they might get excited about the prospect of moving. Sometimes the nerves of moving can subside if they can picture where they are going.
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If They Feel Hurt, Don’t Take It Personally
Sadly, there is a chance your children will feel hurt when you tell them you are moving. They might lash out in response, but you cannot take it personally. Your kids will stay mad at you for a little while, but not forever. Eventually, they will settle in at their new school, make new friends, and forgive you for moving.
Try to Involve Your Child In Decision Making
While you cannot fully involve your children in every decision, making them feel involved will help soften the blow. If you have the flexibility to wait a few months to move, give them the chance to say goodbye to their friends or finish the school year.
Throw a Goodbye Party
You can throw a party for your kids so they can say bye to their friends. Seeing all of their friends at a party will help them understand they do not need to say goodbye forever. They can always talk to their friends online or visit them in the future.
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Give Them Some Time and Space
Moving is a big adjustment, so you cannot expect your kids to accept the situation immediately. They may resent you for weeks or months, but you cannot pressure them to forgive you.
Your kids might need a scapegoat for the situation, and you are a perfect choice. Let them hate you for a little bit if it will make them feel better. Let them have some time and space to cool off.
We do not mean you should not talk to them. Obviously, you still need to be a parent and ensure they are eating, sleeping, and completing their schoolwork. However, you can give them some space and extra freedom. For example, you could be less strict about how much they can play video games every day. That does not mean you should let them get out of control, but give them a little more freedom to adjust to their new environment.
Also Read: What Is Montessori Parenting?
What Is the Best Age for a Child to Move?
Unfortunately, if your move is work-related, you cannot always choose when you start the new job. As a result, you might not have a choice of when to move. However, not all moves are related to work. Some people want a new start and move to a new city. You should try to plan your move around your children.
The best time for a child to move is when they are young. If they are less than five, your children will barely notice you moving. You can also safely move them in elementary school as they should be able to adjust to their new school and make friends.
However, you should avoid moving when your kids are in high school. See if you can wait until they go off to college before making the move. While that is not always possible, if you can wait, you will save them a lot of emotional pain.
Moving is exciting and stressful. You will feel excitement at the idea of moving to a new city, but it is stressful to move your belongings and meet new people. However, moving becomes even more stressful and complicated when you have children. Your kids are unlikely to want to move to a new city and school. Instead, they prefer to stay with their friends. Moving when your kids are young is the best option, and it becomes worse to move as your kids enter high school.