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Old 02-21-2007, 07:12 AM
 
Location: SD, VA, West Texas--staying awhile
330 posts, read 1,068,596 times
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Default Frequent moves and how it affects children

This may be more of a philosophical question but I am concerned about the affects of frequent moving on children. We will end up in either Midland or Wichita Falls and this will mean a third school for my 6 year (almost 7 year old) in three years. Dh is having trouble finding a job that really suites him so hence the frequent moves. We have already decided that no matter which place he chooses he will move first and try it out for a few months while we stay put (we are currently in Virginia where we have been for almost a year, and before that South Dakota where we lived for 10 years)

Frequent moving (and I know military families have to do it all the time) is so incredibly stressful, setting up household, finding schools, making friends etc etc and then once you get settled boom you have to move again because the job isn't right or whatever the reason..........I am just so worried about what this may be doing to my daughter. We moved alot when I was young but we stayed in places at least 5 years before moving.

This is just weighing heavily on my mind and I don't expect any answers but just other peoples' experiences with frequent moves and how their children handle it?

Pam
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Texas
3,494 posts, read 9,517,792 times
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i have moved many, many times. have never lived in the same place more than 6 years and i am 42 years old. have lived overseas in many countries. i dont consider any "school" my alma mater or have any "childhood friends" that i still keep since i didnt stay anywhere to bond enough.
reason for multiples moves was father was an international business executive.
how did it help me and my sister? we are very adaptable, not afraid of change, able to make friends quickly, adventurous, fearless, cultured, worldly, open minded, versatile, multi lingual
how did it hurt us? i dont think it did at all. though if you want to go into the psychological dynamics of it all, perhaps there must be some effect it has had on our ability to maintain long-term relationships e.g. marriage, commitments
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Old 02-21-2007, 11:25 AM
 
Location: in my mind
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My brother experienced frequent moves, and I did not. Why? Because we were a military family but he is 9 years older. By the time I was 3 we'd "settled" and then my parents divorced a couple years later, so no moving for me. From the time I was born until age 3 I lived in Japan, Kansas, Arkansa, Texas and had visited Guam, Hawaii, and California as well.. but I don't remember any of it! :P

I don't know if it's because of the moving but my brother is much more outgoing, makes friends quickly, adapts easily. I am more reserved and not crazy about change... but I DO regret having spent all my life in one place and I wish I'd been a part of the moving.

I think it's easier when kids are smaller. Once we settled my brother was in high school and a move at that point would've been harder on him.

I am choosing to stay put (for now) because we have teens. The younger 2 could care less and would be easy to move though. I think it's best to stay somewhat settled in the teen years, especially if your child is bonding and doing well in their jr. high or high school, but I think in the elementary years it's much less difficult for them. Just my $.02.
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Old 02-21-2007, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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We have moved our kids so many times I cannot count. they actually look forward to it. kids are very resilient and adjust well. My son had 4 high schools. Still graduated with honors. I stayed in the same place all through school and only have 1 childhood friend i still talk too. Your kids will be fine, and very adaptable!!
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Old 02-21-2007, 05:48 PM
 
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Beiing an educator I will say that we have students who move frequently in school and there are gaps in their skills due to the lack of continuity in their early school years. Be very aware of the basic skills that your child should be acquiring and be prepared to supplement at home. If your child is "academically normal" and not a challenged learner, monitoring by you and current teachers should be able to fill in the gaps. I myself also moved much as a child. Every 5 years or so and I wish I had childhood friends. I find as an adult that my immediate family is all I need as it was all I had. Of course, I want my children to stay put because I couldn't but that may be just a case of the grass is always greener. Best of Luck and watch those early skills.
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Old 02-21-2007, 06:53 PM
 
Location: In the City of Williamsburg, Va
291 posts, read 963,567 times
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Moving often, can be healthy for children, I know it was for me and my siblings and most of our friends!!!
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:24 PM
 
318 posts, read 849,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_flawless View Post
My brother experienced frequent moves, and I did not. Why? Because we were a military family but he is 9 years older. By the time I was 3 we'd "settled" and then my parents divorced a couple years later, so no moving for me. From the time I was born until age 3 I lived in Japan, Kansas, Arkansa, Texas and had visited Guam, Hawaii, and California as well.. but I don't remember any of it! :P

I don't know if it's because of the moving but my brother is much more outgoing, makes friends quickly, adapts easily. I am more reserved and not crazy about change... but I DO regret having spent all my life in one place and I wish I'd been a part of the moving.

I think it's easier when kids are smaller. Once we settled my brother was in high school and a move at that point would've been harder on him.

I am choosing to stay put (for now) because we have teens. The younger 2 could care less and would be easy to move though. I think it's best to stay somewhat settled in the teen years, especially if your child is bonding and doing well in their jr. high or high school, but I think in the elementary years it's much less difficult for them. Just my $.02.

Fierce:
Such a great question -- one that I am struggling with as well. Can you please share what ages your 2 younger ones are -- who aren't concerned about moving? I have a 10 year and am sooo worried as well. All he knows is where we are now.
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:31 PM
 
318 posts, read 849,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pammybear View Post
This may be more of a philosophical question but I am concerned about the affects of frequent moving on children. We will end up in either Midland or Wichita Falls and this will mean a third school for my 6 year (almost 7 year old) in three years. Dh is having trouble finding a job that really suites him so hence the frequent moves. We have already decided that no matter which place he chooses he will move first and try it out for a few months while we stay put (we are currently in Virginia where we have been for almost a year, and before that South Dakota where we lived for 10 years)

Frequent moving (and I know military families have to do it all the time) is so incredibly stressful, setting up household, finding schools, making friends etc etc and then once you get settled boom you have to move again because the job isn't right or whatever the reason..........I am just so worried about what this may be doing to my daughter. We moved alot when I was young but we stayed in places at least 5 years before moving.

This is just weighing heavily on my mind and I don't expect any answers but just other peoples' experiences with frequent moves and how their children handle it?

Pam
pammybear:
My heart goes out to you. I am totally enhausted and stressed out - and I've only had two move 3 times - altho 2 of the moves were only 3 months apart. Moving out of my home after 15 years was ---- incredibly painful, and there seemed to be no bottom -- I felt like I would never get everything out! Then I moved into an apt from a large house -- knowing it was temporary -- not only cramped but temporary ( couldn't make it feel like home). Moved again after 3 months (again temporary) ---- trying to find something and stay in son's school district. I hate not being able to dig in and make it home. It is almost like living in a hotel. But the moving process --- God Bless You! It is very hard on everyone.
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Old 02-22-2007, 06:16 AM
 
Location: SD, VA, West Texas--staying awhile
330 posts, read 1,068,596 times
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THank you for all your replies. I feel a little better about the move. I have given it a lot of thought and this is what else I am going to do: Let dh move first and make sure he really likes it, let him do the renting of an apt. then move this summer giving him time to find a house for us. This will let dd finish school at her current school. Try to find a summer camp in the new city so she can start meeting other children right away. Try to find a private school with small class sizes and a "community" already in place and so it will be a similar school to the one she is in now (even down to the uniforms they wear),

Nancy, I know what you mean about feeling like you are living in a hotel! We are renting a small house here in Virginia and I still haven't unpacked everything from the last move (knowing that dh didn't like his job here, we didn't buy a house) You should have seen me trying to find receipts for our taxes this year--! I"m still missing lots of things but thankfully most things I can get copies of!

I know children are resilient and I am just going to try and make it as easy as possible on everyone. I also have 10 month old twins! One positive note, when we finally get into a real house, I promised my 6 y/o she could get a pet and I think this will help too!

Any other ideas will be greatly welcomed!

Pam
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Old 02-24-2007, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Sunny SC
4,080 posts, read 9,376,519 times
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I agree with bellestaroftexas. I moved often when I was a kid and went to twelve different schools. It made me able to adapt easily to change as an adult, make friends easily and be more open minded. The negative is; when I was a kid I didn't have long term relationships with other kids and I think that somewhat affected how I have had relationships as an adult. Also, so many people I know still have friends from childhood, I don't have anyone like that and sometimes wish I did.
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