Does moving have a psychological impact on children?

Moving is involves change and leaving the comfort zone. This affects not only the adults involved, but also the children and even the pets. Each one lives a different process of understanding, since family members have a life of their own, which they must leave behind.

For a child to face such a drastic change in his or her life can be quite painful, which makes it difficult to adapt to the new environment. However, through their development and growth they can come to understand a little better the situation they are facing. So, as a father, mother, uncle or adult sibling you have to learn to identify certain attitudes of children to help them through the whole moving process.

How can a move affect a child psychologically?

Any person is afraid of change and children are no exception. Depending on their age, some may not yet be able to understand what a move will entail in their lives, but when they have a higher level of understanding, they do.

For them, it is not only about leaving the home they have grown up in, but also their friends, their school, the environment they are used to. They find themselves vulnerable to the changes that the move forces them to make. So they choose to adopt unfavorable attitudes on many occasions, such as:

  1. As previously mentioned, according to their age, children may have actions, attitudes and aptitudes that do not apply to the context, but are valid because of their emotions and feelings. Then, he/she may begin to have rebellious attitudes. It is a way of showing their discomfort and distress at what is happening. It is a form of anger against all the members of the family for not being in agreement and feeling that things are being taken away from them.
  2. Another important aspect is that moving can affect the child’s state of mind, i.e., he/she may be sad and cry daily. They may feel nervous, anxious and worried.

How can you help?

Unconditional support and empathy are two factors that go hand in hand in these cases. By no means can you invalidate the emotions of the smallest of the house, just because they are children. They also have their emotional rights and duties. So as adults you can start by:

  1. Talking: explaining what is happening and why you want to move is an argumentative way to avoid resentment and help them understand the situation a little better. Communication is fundamental.
  2. Not invalidating feelings: it is necessary to show that there you are interested in what the child thinks about it. Listening is part of it.
  3. Motivate: Explain them that not everything about the moving process has to be bad or tedious. Let them now that you’re starting a new chapter of your lives that will come with great things. It is giving a different point of view that gives them hope that everything will be much better.