I had a recent conversation online about moving and it got me thinking. It seems like as we’ve become a more global society, we’ve also become more mobile. Not as many people are getting one job and keeping it for life. We move around. But what does this mean for families? Can we give our kids roots and still move from place to place? Are we harming our kids? And what about those of us who travel the world with our families?
We look at as a trade off. Yes there are really hard things about moving. I don’t love the goodbyes and the hours of packing and the stress and the work to start over. Still, it doesn’t have to be all bad.
Here is my advice to those that are transitioning, much of which I learned in my missionary training. Take the time to feel sad. Make sure to say goodbyes to people and places. Try to mend any unresolved conflicts and leave things on a good note. Then start dreaming of the good things to come. There are really great things about moving! I especially like…
- A chance for a new start. I love having a clean new (to me) house. I can try new ways of setting things up. Start new routines that I’ve been meaning to do.
- Making new friends. Sometimes it is possible to make really great friends in really short amounts of time. It’s not always easy. But a new place means new people and you never know who you are going to meet.
- New places to explore. Learn about the culture (even different states w/in the US have different culture), the landmarks, the history, the specialty food. You are broadening your child’s perspective in ways that you can’t just staying in one place.
- New opportunities. Sometimes there are special opportunities in different locations. Who knows maybe there is an awesome church, exciting clubs, or a great extra curricular activity options.
- The chance to develop an appreciation for things that are different. My kids have learned that many times there is more than one way to do something and not everything that is different is wrong.
- A change in perspective. I think we have become more open, accepting, and compassionate. We know what it is like to be the new kid, to stand out and be left out so we try to be more considerate of others.
- We’ve developed a lesser dependency and desire to accumulate stuff. When you are frequently going from location to location and dealing with the packing and transporting of your stuff, you start to pare down what you have and think a little more carefully about you purchase.
You can give a kid roots even in a family that moves a lot. We do this by keeping traditions, keeping some routines the same, and taking some important objects with us wherever we go. We are also intentional about keeping up with some relationships, especially family. For us home is wherever we are all together. It’s the relationships with each other that give us roots.
If you are facing a move, like we are, don’t be filled with dread. Moving can be an exciting adventure. You never know what is around the corner!