Incoooooooming! Gwyneth Paltrow is moving back to the United States, and she's bringing the kids with her! Nine-year-old Apple and 7-year-old Moses will get the chance to learn what it's like to go to school with kids who talk more like mom than dad.
But they shouldn't get used to it. Gwynnie reportedly won't be letting her kids go to high school here in America. They'll be heading back to jolly old England when it comes time for that.
Yes, you got that right. Paltrow is moving two kids across the world, making them leave behind friends and start at a brand new school, only to pick them up and make them do it all over again in a few years.
And I can't help but feel a little bad for her kids.
I'm well aware that kids move all the time. Just look at children in the military. They're lucky if they get two years in one place.
I am not here to tell a military mom that she's bad at what she does. She's doing what she has to do, and my hat is off to her (and to military dads too, of course).
But Gwyneth Paltrow is not a woman whose living depends on moving every two years. She's a woman with a gazillion dollars at her disposal who could very, very easily afford to let her kids stay in one place for a good long time.
And everything I've read about moving kids around frequently indicates you shouldn't do it unless you absolutely have to.
Frequent moving can affect everything from a child's self-esteem to their ability to get along with other kids, from their academic success to their ability to form relationships down the road.
I don't say this to scare parents, but I do say it with some authority. At least one adult I know -- I'll call him M -- was moved around a lot, including around Apple's age and at the start of high school. Already on the shy side, the moves were agonizing, the effect on his relationships a lifelong problem. The problem with the moves at these stages in particular is that it's hard enough to be a tween and then a young teen, add in being the new kid, and you can seriously traumatize a kid.
Why would you do that if you didn't have to do it? If you aren't moving for something absolutely necessary?
Gwyneth is moving to Los Angeles with the kids to be closer to her aging parents, their grandparents -- a completely understandable reason -- but her reasoning for moving back to England in a few years is reportedly because the education is so much better.
As if she can't afford to hire tutors for her kids here in the states? As if she can't find some way not to unsettle them all over again?
I confess I didn't move as a child. My parents still live in the home they purchased before my mother got pregnant with me. So I'll admit a bit of a bias against moving.
I'll also admit that M's story and ones from other kids who moved frequently, coupled with the data I've read over the years about moving kids, has made me take very seriously the idea of what the next decade or so will be like with my daughter. If I can help it, we won't move.
We aren't rich -- not Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin rich for sure -- but at least for now the only reasons my husband and I could see for moving are about our own personal comforts and desires. To us, that's not enough.
Adults need to move sometimes, but they need to seriously think through their reasons for moving before dropping something so huge and unsettling on their kids.
Quite frankly, I wouldn't be ragging on Gwyneth here if she was saying she was moving the kids once. It's that she already plans to move them back that really set me off.
She's essentially telling her kids NOT to put down roots, not to make friends or close relationships because, sorry kids, you'll have to leave them in a few years and go through the same exact trauma you've just been through.
For adults, that is hard enough. For kids, that's just cruel.
Do you move frequently with your kids? How often have you moved?
Image via Pacific Coast News