According to Michael Goldberg, director of Child and Family Psychological Services Inc. in Norwood, a lot of the distress a child feels around a move is related to the unpredictability of what lies ahead. Older children can express the concerns that younger children cannot articulate, but feel nevertheless. "It is a mistake to think that infants and toddlers are not affected by changes related to moving because they don't understand," says Goldberg. "In fact, their difficulty in understanding the changes in their life may foster greater distress." But, he adds, more important than understanding general tendencies in children's reactions is understanding that children may react in different ways. "What is most important," says Goldberg, "is that parents listen carefully and work hard to understand how their particular child is being affected."
SIDEBAR: "Moving gives me a stomach ache" Books that can help a child cope with a household move include: Picture books: Goodbye House by Frank Asch (Aladdin, 1986); We Are Moving by Rachel Biale (Tricycle, 1996); Moving House by Anne Civardi (Usborne, 2001); Why Did We Have to Move Here? by Sally J. K. Davies (Carol rhoda Books, 1997); Annabelle's Big Move by Carla Golembe (Houghton Mifflin, 1999); The Leaving Morning by Angela Johnson (Orchard, 1992); Moving Gives Me a Stomach Ache by Heather McKend (Black Moss, 1988); Lily by Abigail Thomas (Holt 1994).
For 10 and up: Tangerine by Edward Bloor (Scholastic, 1998); P.S. Longer Letter Later by Paula Danziger and Ann M. Martin (Scholastic, 1999); The Private Notebook of Katie Roberts, Age 11 by Amy Hest (Candle wick, 1995); Anastasia Again! by Lois Lowry (Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1981).