According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 11% of people 1 or older moved in 2017. That’s a total of 34.9 million people, many of which moved together as a family.
Families move for a variety of reasons, and they don’t always get to control the circumstances or timing of their move. A new job opportunity or a family member that needs help may dictate the where and when of your move. The majority of people (43%), however, move for housing-related reasons, meaning many families know a move is on the horizon and consider when moving to a certain area would be best for their kids
Children’s ages factor greatly into the moving equation. Parents don’t want to disrupt their child’s development, progress in school or ability to make friends. While a move may have its challenges, children can benefit from moving by learning how to adapt to new situations.
Let’s take a moment to consider the advantages and drawbacks of moving at different ages.
Moving With Kids Under 5 Years Old
From pregnancy to preschool, the family is a child’s whole world and main social unit. Neighbors, relatives and peers may be a part of a young child’s world, but the immediate family is the core.
Some will argue moving during this age may be easiest because very young children are less adverse to relocating. Young children are malleable and can easily make new friends. Many families also like to move prior to kindergarten in the hopes that their kids will go to school with same group of peers and have consistency throughout their education.
Parents shouldn’t overlook the difficult reality that a move means an unfamiliar environment for a small child. This can be unsettling to some young children. One of the other things to remember when moving with small children is getting everything done on moving day might not be as easy. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions and keep a positive attitude because small children feed off of your energy.
Moving With Elementary Age Kids
The benefits of moving with slightly older children is that you can better explain the process to them, reason with them, and receive more precise feedback to help them adjust. Elementary age children look up to their parents, so it will be easier to set a positive tone for kids to emulate. Children at this age are also old enough to help out during the move, particularly with packing up their own room.
Of course, once a kid has started school they’ve made friends and may genuinely enjoy being in their particular class. The idea of starting over in a new school can be overwhelming. No move is without hardships, but this age group is fairly manageable.
Moving in the Tween Years
Whether you move or don’t move, the pre-teen and early teen years are a time of discovery, identity, self-involvement and difficulty. Peer groups at this age are not known for being the most accepting. Uncertainty isn’t something a middle schooler wants more of if they can help it.
Parents will have to approach a move during this age with a little extra grace and patience. A move during this age won’t be the only change a young teen is facing. These years are a somewhat awkward phase we all just have to muddle through somehow. Some middle schoolers will also be happy to have the opportunity to start fresh, especially if the new school or city offers more extracurricular activities for their interests.
Moving During the Teen Years
Ah, the teen years. Parents are happy just to survive them. The experience of moving with teens varies wildly depending on the individual teen. One thing is for sure, they will be pretty emotional about it.
If a family has lived in a particular area for a long time, a move during their teen years may be more difficult. Teens can be very attached to the home they grew up in – and their peers are pivotal in terms of identity and support. It may have taken years to build their social circles and the thought of starting at square one is devastating news. Some teens may welcome the opportunity for a new adventure, but others will mourn leaving a tight-knit friend group, girlfriend or boyfriend.
An out-of-state move may also place a teen closer or further from a desired college, which can be a big deal. During this age the hobbies and extracurriculars of a teen are of profound importance. Helping a teen see where they can easily transition and continue with their same activities may significantly help. This starts by openly talking with your teen about the moveand giving them the opportunity to express their concerns.
No matter what age or stage your family members are at, we can help your family have a happy move! Square Cow Movers is a family-owned business that takes every person’s well-being into account from the head of the household to the youngest tyke. Give us a call to learn how our team can make the move easier for your whole family.