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Moving 2 children to new area/new schools......help/ad
Hello, its my first time on here so please be kind...!
I have a dilemma which I am looking for advice with please.....me and my OH have decided to move around 1.5hrs away to the South Manchester area with my 2 children (DS age 11/DD age 8) from a previous relationship. I am really looking forward to moving as it will be a fresh start and will give me the chance to be a stay at home mum for a while whilst the children settle into their new schools etc BUT......we haven't told the children yet and we're so scared of what their reaction will be!
The reason we are moving is so that my OH will be nearer to the office in Manchester (it is his own business which requires fairly long hours/travel etc)
It is a huge thing to move the 2 children away from everything that is familiar, away from their friends, family (my parents currently see them every day as they pick them up from school whilst I work full time) and everything they know! They will also be about 1.5hrs away from their dad (my ex husband) who they see every other weekend - although this arrangement wouldn't change I am worried they will just 'feel' far away from him.
Does anyone have any experience of moving children of this age to new areas/schools that can give me any advice on how to tell them etc??
They are very sociable children that make friends easily, they do well at school and are involved in various football, dancing, swimming clubs etc. I know they would fit in and make new friends so in the long run we aren't worried about them, it is just dealing with the short term 'shock' of telling them and the huge change for them.
thanks and sorry to rabbit on a bit....as you can tell, we are worried about this and would appreciate any advice!!
I would pick a nice time (maybe a meal out?) and just tell them. First I would investigate to find out if there is a good swimming pool, a dance school or whatever in the new area.
If you have a lap top or phone you could show them photos of the area too. My kids love looking up Estate agent particulars.
Just be honest, tell them and don't ask their permission.
They could be fine, they could be very cross, they could be worried about very random things.
How does their Dad feel? If he is on side that could help, as they may be able to ask him questions they are not sure about asking you.
Finally if you have a relative like my FIL, who told my nieces all about how he wept for months when he had to move as a child, then you might want to limit contact for a bit. (My SIL and BIL are Vicars, so have to move sometimes.)
check out what schools you can get them into. Options very limited in some places.
Thanks mummytime - all your suggestions are what I know I should do, just cant help being scared of their reaction!! You're right - we need to just tell them! Their dad WILL NOT be on side! We don't get on and I think he will be very upset/angry....but that's just something else we'll have to deal with
lljkk......I've been looking into schools and the problem is we have to have proof of a property purchase or rental agreement before we have any chance of getting them into a good school! The deadlines for applying (DS starts high school next sept and DD will be going into year 5) will have passed before we have any chance of getting a house sorted
It all feels very complicated at the moment
Don't expect them to like the idea. I moved when my oldest children were nearly 9 and 7. I also had younger children for whom a move was no issue at all. But of the older ones, the 9 yo had few friends where we were and actually moved happily, made new friends, never looked back. The 7 yo was (is) very sociable, had loads of friends, was fully involved in the community. He was devastated by the move. In fact, it took him until going to secondary school to get over it - that was 4 long years of sadness and constantly talking about the life left behind.
So I would predict, without knowing your children, that the one about to start secondary will adapt more quickly because he is about to undergo massive changes in his life anyway.
Another complication for us was that we had to move quickly and had 2 properties on the go at the same time, so for a while, we went back to our old home at the weekends. I imagine with your ex H being near your old home, and your parents, you will be doing something pretty similar. I am not sure how advisable that is - a clean break is better. Even if your ex won't co-operate, try and get your parents to come to you, rather than you going back to them for a while.
I did what I am sure you will do too: enrolled my children in all the activities they were doing in their old home, tried to make their new environment as exciting as I could, explored the area, etc.
"Don't expect them to like the idea." Exactly. You might be pleasantly surprised, of course, but don't count on that. If they are happy and settled where they are, they might be upset at the prospect of leaving friends and other family members behind. I think it is important that they know that they will still be able to keep in touch.
How well do your children get on with your new partner? That could make a big difference to how they see things.
Good suggestions guttersnipe - my parents & family would be happy to travel to and fro to help us all settle in....they just want us all to be happy as we have discussed it with them. Sounds an awful situation to have a child so sad about moving for so long One thing that my children will be pleased about is that I will be around a lot more rather than being at work all the time....that will hopefully be one of the things that convinces them that this is a good move!
cavell - I am not expecting them to like the idea....we are prepared for that.....but we are hoping that once they are used to the idea they will just get 'stuck in' and be ok They get on really well with my new partner, they love him and he is very involved & good with them, so not worried about that although we have worried about the possibility they will see the move as 'moving because of him'.....it is so that he is nearer the office that we are moving....we don't want any resentment to creep in etc. I think we just need to keep pointing out all the benefits.....me being at home & picking them up from school etc, more opps for friends to come over (as I wont always be at work).
Are you moving to an area where you will be able to afford a bigger/better house? The prospect of a TV room with a massive (vulgarly so) screen worked wonders with my DS at age 10.
haha...yes grovel we are and we have already thought the same thing
bribes lovely things like this will work wonders! My DS is always asking for a bigger bedroom/TV in his room so would be delighted at the prospect of this!!
Some of DS's friends were really helpful before we left. One bought a duvet cover for him and told him she was going to keep it at her house just for his use when he came to stay. Another sent him an invitation to her DS's birthday party six months in advance (shortly before we moved).These gestures helped him understand that a move did not mean the end of the world as he knew it. Before we moved, we also fixed dates for his friends to come and stay at our new house. It was hard work but he only hated us for about 3 weeks.
Great ideas from Grovel, and don't worry too much that your children will do what my ds2 did. He has always been a great one for making mountains out of molehills (not suggesting that that was what he was doing - I do appreciate the heart-wrench he went through as I did too - but, even so, he has always been one to emphasize the drama of the moment!)
I think the primary loss for children is the loss of friends. If you can somehow keep hold of some friendships in the way Grovel described, I think they will cope much better with all the other changes. Skype, email, facebook for when they are older - all that sort of thing helps.
We're moving from Canada to London next year, so I should be asking you for tips, rather than giving tips.
I echo what everybody else has said. We just told our DCs last weekend and DS (8) had a major meltdown. BUt by today, even though he's still having minor meltdowns every so often, he's on rightmove.co.uk happily looking up houses for us to buy. I keep telling him we have a budget, and it won't stretch to a pool, either indoor or outdoor, but he's having fun on something move-related, so I don't grumble too much.
I'd say tell them when you have a lot of time to deal with bad reactions, preferably at the beginning of a weekend, and a weekend where you don't have a lot of other time commitments. When we told DS and DD, we made the mistake of doing it 30 minutes before DH had to rush off to take the cats to their vet visit. It turned out the rugrats needed a lot more than 30 minutes' processing time. Don't do what we did!
Just keep accentuating the positive (bigger house, mum around more, , visits in the new house from their old friends, Skype, etc.) At the same time, though, allow them to go through the grieving process, as they come to terms with the idea of leaving their support system behind. It's a delicate balance.
And good luck!
Sorry, that should've been "Hi, SausageDogGeorge", and not "Hi, Guttersnipe." I got mixed up and forgot who was the OP.
We moved 75 miles a few years ago. My kids settled in their new schools fine. I can't remember how we told them. I think we involved them with looking for houses so they would feel part of it.
Your story has made me feel a lot better, thanks! If you can move from one country to another then im sure we can do 1.5 hours down the road!! doesn't seem such a big deal now!
I think it is possibly harder that my DC are leaving their dad 'behind' even though they'll see him the same amount I think that may be one of the biggest things for them....and obviously the friends. You are right in that we need to let them go through the 'grieving' process.
I really appreciate everyones input thank you
I talked to DH, whose family relocated several times when he was a kid, and he said the most important thing for him was that the furniture stayed the same even when the house was different. Which is a very easy thing to do, and actually cheaper than the alternative!
We did this & it was fine. The eldest initially kicked up a fuss but she got over it. Their dad wasn't impressed at having to travel further to pick them up than before, but in reality the new house is the same distance from his house as the old one, it was just more convenient for his work before. This is a huge distance you are considering moving from their dad though & is the only real stumbling block I can see ahead for you. You may be put in the position where you have to ferry the kids the whole distance every other weekend. It will be a lot of driving & eat into half a day each time. Is there not a compromise where by you can not move quite so far away from their dad? Im sure you have already covered every eventuality in your head though.. Im sure the kids will be ok, but based on experience the ex will most likely kick up a fuss. Good luck.
I know what you mean CanucksoontobeinLondon - it would make them feel more secure. We've moved before (just locally) and they've always coped very well - they found it exciting. I always tell them both that home is where Mummy is.
Pixiedust1973 - I appreciate what you're saying. In a way i think I'm more worried about what their dad is going to say!! I know I'll end up ferrying them at least one way to his house. They usually go after school on Friday to about 7.30pm Sunday evening, I don't mind doing the Friday after school trip as by the time I'm back my OH will be getting in from work so no time lost really. It'll be approx 1.5hrs in the car each way though which seems a lot for the DC but its only every other weekend so I think they'll cope
Thanks everyone! xx
I would suggest telling them on their home territory - somewhere they will feel able to have the discussion. Explain the reasons in a positive way and answer their questions honestly whilst making it clear that the move is definitively happening.
As for how they will adapt to a new school - 3 out of 4 of my children have moved schools at similar ages to yours and found their feet almost immediately.
Thank you jestermarc - your post makes me feel a lot better about the whole thing
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