Over eight million children between the ages of birth to 14 years move with their families every year. Mobility studies show that of these moving families, the majority are single parent households. Furthermore, children in single parent households typically experience more moving-related stress than children in households with two parents.
Dark and depressing statistics piled onto all the other “dark” statistics about outcomes for children raised in single parent households. However, the list of potential negative factors do not necessarily determine outcomes for these kids. Negative, or “risk,” factors can be mitigated by other positive factors that exist in families who are resilient and “beat the odds.” These protective factors shield kids and their parents and are attributed to positive outcomes in the face of typical risk factors.
Kids who are typically well adjusted before relocating with their families typically move through change and transition positively without undue negative impact. Strengthening these protective factors now can help your kids deal with whatever life throws at them in the future. With a move to a new home, connectedness is a critical protective factor that can insulate us and our kids from the negative impact of moving.
Connectedness is both within the family unit and outside the family, in the community (school, work, special interest groups, neighborhoods, etc.) Connectedness is not just being able to borrow a cup of sugar from the neighbor, it’s about emotional support, problem solving, concrete assistance in times of need. Some natural networks to build connections when moving are work, school, extracurricular activities and religious communities. For more information about connectedness and the other protective factors, click here.
For more information about the Moving Families Initative, please visit www.movingfamiliesinitiative.com.