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Publication #FAR0010

Moving with Children1

Leah Vermeer and Suzanna Smith2

Figure 1. 
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A new home, a new school, a new neighborhood, and new friends. Moving can be a difficult transition for children. The United States is a highly mobile society with 15-20% of its population changing residences every year. Families move because of a change of employment, financial pressures, or many other reasons. Moving affects every member of the family, but it has the greatest impact on children. Research has shown that children who move often may be at greater risk for social problems and difficulties at school. Entering a new school may damage a child's test scores and grade point average. A child may also find it hard to establish important relationships with new teachers and administrators. Socially, a child may have difficulty making friends, may experience conflict with others, or become antisocial after a move.

If a family must move, there are many ways parents can make the transition smoother for their children. First, nurture a supportive family environment. Make sure to let your children know that you understand this is a difficult time for them. Second, allow plenty of time for the move. This helps children adjust more easily. Finally, try to establish new social connections soon after the move. Encourage and help your children to get to know their teachers and to make new friends at school and in the neighborhood. With a little attention, parents can make what may be a stressful situation more pleasant.

Listening, learning, and living together: it's the science of life. "Family Album" is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, and of WUFT-FM. If you'd like to learn more, please visit our website at

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This document is FAR0010, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Broadcast as program 069. Published December 2007. Revised December 2007. Reviewed January 2015. In the interest of time and/or clarity, the broadcast version of this script may have been modified. Visit the EDIS website at


Leah Vermeer, graduate student, and Suzanna Smith, associate professor, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, University of Florida, and executive producer, Family Album Radio, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.