Just when your preschooler finally becomes comfortable in her latest home and is making new friends, she’s told it’s time to move again. Although the decisions to pack up and move every 10 minutes may be due to circumstances out of your control, repeatedly uprooting your toddler or preschooler at such a tender age can have serious consequences on her emotional health and well-being.
Disruption of Friendships
Frequent moving disrupts developing friendships. Your little one may be bonding with new pals in your family’s latest community, only to discover that she’ll be moving again and has to bid them farewell. The pattern of forming friendships and then losing them at such a young age may have serious consequences on her ability to form intimate relationships in the future. She may develop trust issues and avoid becoming emotionally close to others to protect herself from getting hurt, because constantly moving has led her to believe that loss is inevitable. Adults who repeatedly moved as children have fewer close relationships and less feelings of well-being, according to The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Missing valuable days in preschool by constantly relocating may cause your tot to suffer future learning problems in kindergarten, elementary school and beyond. During preschool, your little one is exposed to shapes, letters and numbers for the first time and begins discovering how to use them. She gains confidence by learning vital socialization skills, getting in touch with her creativity and problem-solving abilities. Children who regularly attended preschool are more inclined to become high school graduates and continue with higher education than those who didn’t go, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. It’s also rare for those who attended preschool to ever repeat a grade or require special education.
Kids gain a sense of inner security growing up in a stable, permanent home. Constant change as a result of frequent moves can lead to behavioral problems and mood disorders in your tot, such as sadness, fearfulness, crying, depression, inattentiveness, hyperactivity and stubbornness, or your preschooler may act out her anxiety by yelling or hitting. If you’re upset by the circumstance that has led to the move, such as divorce, job loss or death, the sensitive tyke may pick up on it and could feel even more powerless and distressed. As an adult, she may suffer from anxiety, fear or insecurity, as a result of an unstable early childhood.
Making the Move Easier
Explain to your preschooler or toddler why the move is necessary and whatever the reason, it’s not her fault. Pack her toys and belongings into moving boxes last and reassure her that she’ll see them in her new bedroom. Don’t get rid of her bedroom furniture unless it’s absolutely necessary. Visit the new home in advance with your little one, and let her know the benefits of living there, such as a large play room or big backyard. Keep your daily routine as normal as possible during the moving process, which will help your child feel secure and safe.