How Moving Homes Can Affect Your Child’s Development
When you’ve got enough resources to be mobile and seek out career opportunities in a different city or state, the comparison can be pretty straightforward — the cost of living and effort of moving versus increased income and growth. But if you have children, that simple analysis can become complicated. The future of your child may even be the biggest consideration when you look for house and land packages in the suburbs or condo units in the city.
Here are some essential points to consider how a move could affect your child and how you can get it right.
Moving can be worth it
In a 2015 Harvard study across two decades’ worth of data, researchers found significant evidence that the neighbourhood wherein a child grows up can significantly impact their odds of future economic success. Children who grew up in good neighbourhoods could earn more than twice as much as those from bad communities.
The environment provides a crucial context for how you grow and develop in the early years. The complex interaction of factors — from access to good schools to pollution, crime rates and social interactions with other locals — creates an influential set of experiences for children who grow up in a certain neighbourhood. From this perspective, moving to a better community doesn’t only improve your family’s well-being in the present but will continue to pay dividends in the future as kids grow up and become more successful.
The downsides of mobility
On the flip side, the mere act of relocation could bring some disruption to your children’s lives. This can impact a child’s performance at school, at least in the short-term and potentially beyond that. A study based on data from Swansea University found that children who had moved at least once by the age of six were less likely to achieve on their key stage one assessment, and the trend only worsened with a higher frequency of relocation.
Even though kids are resilient, moving can entail the loss of childhood relationships, thrusting them into new schools along with the difficulty of socialising anew. This may also shake up established family routines.
Maximising the nurture aspect
It takes a village to raise a child, and how we turn out as adults is a result of both nature and nurture. We constantly hear these sayings when it comes to parenting because they contain useful truths that can be applied to this scenario.
Though you may not have complete control over the move (especially if it happens because you lost a job or need to pursue once-in-a-lifetime career opportunities), you can draw upon the other aspects that comprise the ‘nurture’ factor.
Once you’ve settled in the new home, ensure stability in both the family environment and financial resources. Manage your child’s proper nutrition, and see to it that they are stimulated to learn more at home. You can even use the home as a shelter from sub-optimal conditions outside; if you have good relationships with friends and family in an otherwise bad neighbourhood, this strong social support network can help offset many other issues.
Mobility can be a useful advantage to you as an individual. But with kids in the picture, moving can have significant downsides to go with the benefits. With these considerations, you can find the right balance and make the relocation work out for both present and future.