University of California, Davis
Who among us enjoys moving? The process of giving up an established home and friends and relocating to another neighborhood, city, or geographical region is often accompanied by fatigue, feelings of loss and alienation, and fear of the unknown. Moving for adults may be made more pleasant by the anticipation of a more challenging or rewarding occupation, or by the intellectual stimulation of relocating to a new environment. Unfortunately, most moves are not made to improve one's life. Many moves are dictated by other life events such as deaths and divorces, and come as an added burden to those experiencing life's catastrophes. Nevertheless, for many individuals, moving is a normal part of adult life, as with the civilian and military employees of the Department of Defense who routinely relocate every 2 to 5 years. Although there is a connection between adult attitudes and children's reactions, we cannot assume children will experience a move the same way parents do.
“I don't want to move, Dad, all my friends are here!” “What will it be like in my new neighborhood?” “I'm going to get my own room in our new house when we move, aren't I, Mom?” “Boy, I'll be glad to get out of this school!” These are some of the reactions of children to the announcement of a family move. On balance, children do not like to move any more than do adults. Under the right circumstances, however, moving can lead to growth in intellectual, social, and emotional development.
For children, moving means separation. In many cases children will be giving up friends, a neighborhood, and a school environment with which