Find Out if Frequent Moves Affect Your Child

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How Frequent Moves Affect Children

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Moving is stressful for adults, and may be even more stressful for children who sometimes do not fully comprehend the emotional and physical upheaval that comes relocating.

As a parent who is just trying to do what's best for your family, you may be wondering how to make this process easier for them--but before you help them adjust to a move, you must first learn how frequent moves affect your kids and in what ways.


Your child's education is a necessary requirement for them to grow into a well-adjusted, functioning member of society, and constantly moving your kid from school to school could delay this developmental period.
  • If their new curriculum is ahead or behind their old one it may lead to confusion or boredom
  • Studies suggest that children who are moved frequently struggle more academically and exhibit more behavioural problems
  • Kids who move regularly reportedly have more difficulty honing their reading and math skills
  • Frequent moves may force your children to be left back a grade, resulting in lower self-esteem


Another issue that comes with constantly moving is an inability for your children to make long-lasting friendships, which could negatively impact them socially. This lack of bonding may result in feelings of isolation and make it harder for your child to make friends and be sociable later on in life.


All of these factors--and the stress of moving--can cause great emotional turmoil in your child's life, causing him or her to either lash out negatively at you or become dependent on your company. Some common negative emotions that accompany a move which could lead to behavioural problems may include:
  • Sadness for their loss--losing friends, teachers, a home, a normal routine
  • Anxiousness about making new friends and fitting in at their new school
  • Anger at having to start over in a new area
  • Self-esteem issues related to feelings of insecurity and a lack of confidence

Physical problems

These emotional strains could lead to physical problems in your child's life, such as a change in eating habits and sleep patterns. This could affect performance in school, as well as the ability to make new friends and interact in social situations.

Moving with children

Yes, a move will be difficult on your children, but if you cannot forgo frequent moves for their own emotional well-being, you can at least take certain steps to help them adjust to the move and limit negative outcomes.
  • Prepare them in advance of the move
    • Discuss the move with them
    • Focus on the advantages of the move
    • Be open to their emotional needs and concerns
    • Get them excited about the new experience
  • Make things less stressful during the move
    • Keep your kids involved in the process
    • Help them stay comfortable by not messing with their routine
    • Be a source of positivity
  • Facilitate their adjustment after the move
    • Allow them to set up their room
    • Establish a new daily routine
    • Explore the area--including their new school to ease anxiety
    • Talk to them about how they're feeling

Frequent moves in childhood can negatively affect kids and for those with certain personality types, the effects of moving may linger into adulthood. For the sake of your child's well-being, make an attempt to limit regular moves whenever possible.

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on November 19, 2014 - Moving Expert
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