Ok, we’ve all heard that summer vacation is typically considered the prime time of year to move if you have children. However there are a lot of factors to consider, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the question, “is this what’s best for my kid(s)?” We hope to start a discussion this week on some different factors that make summer the better season to move, (for younger children and teens) and a few reasons why summertime moving might be a good candidate for your family.
Summertime Moving with Younger Children
If you have a younger child, summer provides many appealing arguments that support a move; your child’s daily routine is already broken, almost all children are out of school so it’s easier to make friends around town, and parents more willing to schedule play-dates around their working hours. The seasonal freedom, paired with parenttal time off work to complete a move, makes summer a steady choice for families with young children.
However uprooting children to a new town can also surface challenges that you might have forgotten to consider. While summertime in theory might make it easier to assist your kids in making new friends while you explore active areas together, if you’re expected to go back to work soon after moving, then don’t forget to consider program registration timelines. Most camps and summer activities have a spring registration deadline. If you are hoping to leave your child in a consistent daily space with similarly aged children when you head back to work, don’t expect to sign them up after you move. Summer daycare programs and activity camps can be filled very quickly, especially for ages 4-12. Try to research options for your child as early as possible, especially if both parents will be working again soon after you arrive in your new town.
Summertime Moving with Older Children
If you have a older child (11-18), you might consider mid to late summer for your move. At this age when they start spending more time away from their own families, and start developing their unique personalities within social groups, moving at the start of the summer can be tough. Feeling isolated in the months before school could lead to resentment, depression, and other stresses on your child. Most older children have an easier time moving at the end of summer, or right at the start of the school year.
But if your child is interested in attending a sports camp that leads to school team tryouts in the fall, then moving earlier in the summer is a good idea!
If your teen isn’t interested in sport or school-related summer programs, making connections with peers often doesn’t happen quick enough after a move. Moving towards the end of summer vacation might be the better option for you and your teen. This way they get to spend the summer with good friends, and the start of school can facilitate a structured but diverse network to make new friends from. Drawing from personal experience on this one, the process of making friends is easier within the structure of the school year. With after school programs, clubs, and sports offered, (plus class time!) it’s a small matter of time before your teen finds people to relate to. As stressed in our previous post, Moving with Children: Adjustment Ideas for Their Age Group, include your teen in as many decisions as possible. Make time to talk about when they might prefer to move, and how they want to go about getting involved in the new town.
Two Other Things to Think About:
- Summer is considered peak season for movers, and rates will generally be higher this time of year. However this is a fair trade if you’re trying to avoid additional scheduling stresses, especially around any major travel-oriented holidays. Arguably July 4th is the only major summer holiday that could cause traffic and other moving concerns, so summer can offer the most flexibility when moving!
- If you have a limited time frame to move for work, and your moving plans don’t allow for flexibility and planned timing around your children’s needs, consider making arrangements for your child to stay with family/friends in the area, and settle in the new house before moving the whole family. Send a spouse, family member, or yourself ahead of the kids, so when they arrive they’ll quickly feel comfortable and adjust to the move sooner.
- Check out program registration deadlines before you move!
- Depending on your child’s age, personality, and attitude towards the move, consider moving right before the start of the school year, so you child will be able to make friends within their peer group soon after arriving.
- Parents of younger children are usually more willing during the summer to schedule play-dates around their working hours, so making new friends might be easier after the initial meeting!
- Take into account peak timing- like the season, day of the week, and any holidays around your prospective moving date.
- Think about opening the house and settling in before the family joins you, if you could make arrangements to do so.
Depending on your time-frame and capabilities, there are a lot of decisions to make. Success can come from compromise, so remember to take time and discuss any and all ideas with your partner, and your kids.
Best of Luck during this busy moving season!
Your friends at Sorensen