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to move house even though DS1 really really really doesn't want to.

(35 Posts)
HankyScore Thu 26-Dec-13 18:00:15

Our house is too small. Christmas has confirmed it for me. I've had enough.

We have been tossing around the idea of extending but tbh we still wouldn't end up with the space we need and it will be a massive upheaval.

So I've been playing around with figures today and looking on Rightmove and we can move to a much bigger house sooner than I thought.

DS1 is eleven. He has always said he doesn't want to move, but he is now having a proper foot stamp about it. He is very attached to this house. It's next door to my parents and across the road from my sister, we have great neighbours with similar aged kids, and he doesn't like change at the best of times. Even the fact that he would get his own bedroom hasn't convinced him.

I'm not actually going to let the whims of a preteen dictate where we live, but he's really resistant. How evil is it to ride roughshod over his feelings and move house? Will he hate me for ever?

I don't tend to hang about once I've made a decision and I'm all for putting the house on the market NOW. AIBU?

Geckos48 Thu 26-Dec-13 18:01:46

No you are not being unreasonable.

HankyScore Thu 26-Dec-13 18:06:57

Do you think if we go and look at some houses he'll come round to the idea?

We moved a lot when they were little, I think by the time he was six and we moved here he'd had five different houses. We've lived here a looooong time by my standards and my feet are itchy. DD's all for it, and DS2 is only two.

DS1 is my easy going child and it's making me very edgy that he's being SO obstructive about this.

Has anyone gone through this and come out the other side?

Dawndonnaagain Thu 26-Dec-13 18:08:15

We had this, particularly as the three younger ones all have AS. They are very pleased we moved. This was a good few years ago, they too were pre-teens, but as soon as they start high school, they spend much more time in their rooms and have friends round etc. They do need more space.

AChickenCalledKorma Thu 26-Dec-13 18:08:35

You can start planning to move house without "riding roughshod" over his feelings. You can see the advantages - he just sees a scary time of change. So start thinking about how to manage his feelings and help him understand why you want to do it.

We have just completed a major extension - both children were totally unconvinced about the whole thing. They were bored by the planning, scared by the demolition stage (so was I!), unsettled while living elsewhere and generally very hard work while the whole thing was going on. BUTthey do both agree now that it was the right thing to do and that having lots more space was totally worth it. They just couldn't imagine what our "new" house would be like until it was finished. So that made it scary, rather than exciting.

I can definitely tell you that family life is much, much less stressful now that we are not tripping over each other all the time. And I'm glad we didn't put it off because the children weren't on board.

lljkk Thu 26-Dec-13 18:08:55

give him time to get used to it. See if he will talk about what he thinks he will lose & help him find solutions so that he doesn't have to lose it all.

BerryChristmas Thu 26-Dec-13 18:09:35

Well, I think you may be wrong! Have you REALLY looked at extending i.e. called in an architect? I think you will be surprised at what can be achieved.

If everything else is 'right' about where you live except the size of the house, then I really think you need to think again tbh.

daisychain01 Thu 26-Dec-13 18:09:38

Hanky - do you have other DC's (I presume so as you mention DS1)? What is their reaction to moving?

For the time being at least, why don't you completely tone things down about moving house? As you know, it can take ages (a year or more if you are unlucky!). Sometimes the thought of such a change is much worse than the reality. If I were in your position, that's what I would do.

If you do all the initial 'number-crunching' bit, estate agency valuation and mortgage stuff done, which can be 'invisible' from your DS1, so he does not stress about it all, then you can start to look seriously at what type of property you can afford You could even do some viewings and get to a short-list. Then it starts to become a reality and you and your DS can go to see the house that you think may be "the one".

The next "big-change" in his life will be going to secondary school, so it will start to toughen him up for dealing with this type of real-world situation.

Does that sound like it might make life a bit easier for you and him?

daisychain01 Thu 26-Dec-13 18:10:37

sorry x-posted with Chicken

ajandjjmum Thu 26-Dec-13 18:10:54

We had to promise DS that if he didn't like our new house, we'd move back to the old one! He was only 5 at the time though - I suspect you couldn't pull that trick.

Looking around some houses might be a good idea, so that he can visualise different opportunities.

moldingsunbeams Thu 26-Dec-13 18:14:40

We are in a similar situation, for a variety of reasons due to crap private let and marriage breakdown dd has been in 8 houses sad we are in a one bed now but dd is very against moving.

chipsandpeas Thu 26-Dec-13 18:16:16

sorry if im being blunt but hes 11.....he cant dictate to you about moving, its not as if he has any other choice

i remember throwing a strop when my parents moved towns when i was 17, i was told to like it or find my own place to live

SofaKing Thu 26-Dec-13 18:18:12

My mum moved when I was ten from my family home and I could not forgive her as a child. This was because we downsized then moved hundreds of miles, so I never really had a family home with garden and so on again.

I would really sell it to him if you can, a reluctant child can make house moves shellfish ( I know I must have!) Go and visit a few very nice homes and show him what he could have, see if being able to visualise it makes him come round to the idea.

SofaKing Thu 26-Dec-13 18:18:54

Hellish not shellfish!

HankyScore Thu 26-Dec-13 18:20:46

Thanks all. I will tone it right down, he was looking over my shoulder while I was browsing Rightmove and started howling about not wanting to move so it became a big conversation.

He's and old soul and I do tend to forget he's only a baby of eleven, he can be so grown up about some things and then have a childish strop about others. I would like to move before he starts secondary, he shares a room with DS2 who is a 2yo terror.

We've had a couple of builders round, although haven't got as far as architects yet. We only have a small plot and the rooms are small, so even a double height extansion and loft room wouldn't gain us as much space as we could afford to move to. PLus six months or so of building worl just fills me with dread.

We wouldn't move far, and the housing market is pretty bouyant here. So it could all happen fast, my sister moved last year and it was all done and dusted from idea to completion in three months.

scaevola Thu 26-Dec-13 18:21:24

How far do you think you'll be moving?

Is he in year 6 or 7 now? Might he be worrying about school and possible separation from his friends?

scaevola Thu 26-Dec-13 18:22:18

X-post!

HankyScore Thu 26-Dec-13 18:22:46

Year six. All his friends are going to the same secondary, and we would only move down the road.

AnnoyingOrange Thu 26-Dec-13 18:33:52

bribery worked on my ds. we promised him an x box. suddenly he was enthusiastic about the move

Thingymajigs Thu 26-Dec-13 18:36:15

Yes, I've been through this just recently. We were offered a property in the next village in early October which was perfect for us but ds2 had to change schools mid-term in year 5 and move away from his best friend.
He was heartbroken at first and put up a lot of resistance including playing up at his new school and a couple of weeks of mardy behaviour with one huge tantrum but he eventually settled down.
They do eventually adjust and I can say that pretty confidentally as ds2 is hyper sensitive. What helped us was constantly talking about how he was feeling, discussing coping strategies, organising lots of meet-ups with his old friends and then eventually he settled into a routine. Kids are very resilient and if he won't even be changing anything other than his house he'll be fine.

ImperialBlether Thu 26-Dec-13 20:11:28

Draw up a list of what's important to him: to walk to your sister's house, to walk to his grandmother's house, to play with the neighbours without you having to take him there, to walk to school with his friends, etc.

Tell him all those criteria will be met.

mymatemax Thu 26-Dec-13 20:14:34

I would chose the place (nieghobours, family etc) over size of house.
But if there really is no alternative then no, you are not being mean. He will get used to it.

Andrewofgg Thu 26-Dec-13 20:48:46

This happened to me when I was 13 and you know what? I had to accept that parental needs outweighed my wishes. I don't think the experience scarred me. Do it.

PresidentServalan Thu 26-Dec-13 23:29:03

Agree with other posters - he is going to have to accept that it is your decision, and at 11 he doesn't even need to be consulted about it.

PresidentServalan Thu 26-Dec-13 23:31:34

And I wouldn't be bribing him - when he is an adult he can live where he likes but he is old enough to understand that he has to deal with it.

pixwix Thu 26-Dec-13 23:33:13

^ like imperial blether said...

MummySantaHoHoHo Thu 26-Dec-13 23:36:50

my mother made us move (to a shitty area to keep my sister happy as her friends were there) when I was 17, as soon as I feasibly could I moved out.

I can see his reasoning is sound, you aren't just talking about a house move, you are now talking about a complete lifestyle change for him, "next door to my parents and across the road from my sister, we have great neighbours with similar aged kids", I reluctantly moved my 5 year old, about 10 weeks ago and his heart is still in our old house, but if I had had to throw all the above into the mix, I don't think I could have done it.

If you move you are going to have to seriously consider how you are going to give him what he has now, because although he is 11, he is old enough to know his mind and his own feelings.

Moving him away from his family, who I assume he is exceptionally close to, will mean more than some posters are giving him credit for.

MeMySonAndI Thu 26-Dec-13 23:48:58

I don't think that children should have a say on whether you move or not or where you move to. You are the adult here, a child doesn't consider the circumstances of the movd in the way that you do.

Having said that, considering the amount if family you have around, and the amount of contact you may have with them, this is a propper uprooting as the way you relate to these people will change as a result if the move. You will also loose a good network of support that might be handy to have during the teenagd years.

I second the idea of getting an architect to review the options before moving.

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Thu 26-Dec-13 23:58:16

My Dsis went through this with her 10 yo. She was worried he would never forgive her. The whole palaver was forgotten within days of them moving in.

Year six is a tough time for many kids, and combine that with moving house - he may feel that everything is changing beyond his control.

Sympathise with him, but don't let him make the decisions. Allow him to vent etc, but as far as possible present it as a done deal. I dont have kids myself, but from what I see from DNs and godchildren, they often find the thought of a big change harder than the reality of it.

YANBU. We have moved back to the UK after 13 years away. DD really didn't want to leave Malaysia but it wasn't feasible for us to commute.
We live around 2 miles from my parents, she is at a brilliant school and it really was the best thing for all of us.

coralanne Fri 27-Dec-13 04:55:43

We moved 6 hours away from family and friends when DS was 11. We lasted a year and then moved back. He was so miserable and was actually pining for his family and friends.

His school was amazed because he was performing brilliantly but we explained that he wasn't the type of child who would start playing up or neglecting his schoolwork just because he was miserable.

I would move to a larger home but try to stay in the vicinity of family and friends. Don't listen to people who say an 11 year shouldn't even be consulted.

TheZeeTeam Fri 27-Dec-13 05:09:19

I read these kinds of threads with a mix of incredulity and worry. We've moved our kids 4000 miles and they've moved house 4 times in the last 7 years. Your child will be fine as long as you are fine.

coralanne Fri 27-Dec-13 05:38:22

That's true TheZee some kids are fine. My DD who was 9 at the time of our move had a million friends and was involved in all her usual clubs within a week of our move.

Unfortunately some children do have difficulty with moving. My DS had the same friends from playgroup, pre school and then school right up until he was eleven.

His cousins used to stay at our home every weekend and build huge lego cities with him and had ongoing stories, even to the extent of putting people in jail for various reasons. Each actual lego year represented one real month.

He was a different child when we returned to our home city. He actually moved back 3 months before us and stayed with my sister so he could go back to his old school.

He is now in his twenties and loves travelling but always glad to return to familiar surroundings. He still has most of the same friends he has known since he was a child. They get together on a regular basis and play rugby together.

glastocat Fri 27-Dec-13 05:40:05

I agree TheZeeTeam, we moved to Oz in Feb with our 11 year old, he used to hate change and really didn't know what to expect ( neither did we!) anyway he loves it and thinks life here is a big improvement, his confidence has blossomed too.

TheFunStopsHere Fri 27-Dec-13 05:49:08

I think teaching children about resilience and coping with change is an important life skill. Many adults don't seem to have this skill themselves. That doesn't mean ignoring his feelings, but going through the process with him allowing him to adjust and work through it and see for himself the positive benefits of change and to learn for himself that he is okay.

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