Changing schools - really worried my children will be devastated. Would welcome any advice

(31 Posts)
mimosa Fri 14-Jun-13 22:53:25

We are moving our 2 children (5 and 7) from our local village school to an independant school. Mainly because the school has fallen short of what we had hoped for. The children are happy there but we think they will do better in a different school. I am confident this is the right thing to do however am really worried that they will be really sad to leave their school. Any advice about how to make the change?? We havent told them yet..........

DStone Sun 23-Jun-13 19:57:33

Hi Tina it's nice to hear from someone in the same boat. I had the same intention to make every effort to stay in touch with all the mums of Dds close friends but I don't think it's going to be possible with her best friend because of how her mum is acting. I find this really sad because that little girl is probably the one Dd will miss the most and I don't know what I will tell her when she asks to see her after the move. Also counting the weeks now and can't wait to be on the otherside of the transition, good luck with your move.

sunnydaylucy Sun 23-Jun-13 22:30:10

We are moving our 3 DD's (5,8,11) to their 3rd school out of necessity for work. We told them over the whit half term holidays. We were honest with them and explained why we were doing it and that we had spent a lot of time looking for the best school for them (true,although in reality we had little choice if we wanted to keep them together). Keeping up with their Girl Guiding is important to all of them so I made sure that was sorted for when we moved last time.

We told DD1 (age 11) on her own as she will be going to a different high school than we had planned, she took this badly initially but is now excited.

As someone said it does depend on the child how much time they need to get use to the idea. Playdates aren't a possibility for us as we don't know anyone until we get there. The 2 younger girls have been on a visit day and enjoyed it. (Fingers crossed for September)

All the best to you and your family OP, only you know what's best for your family but I have found honesty with the children (and bigging up the new school at every opportunity!!) worked well for us last time.
We are hoping not to have to move them again.

DStone I think you have to understand that by moving your child you are indirectly saying the school isn't good enough so the other parents will feel defensive. We moved DS when he was almost 6 and I had to accept a few negative comments. However I have never criticised the old school (although I've listened to a few complaints!) and I don't really talk about the new school. DS has kept his friends and I'm still friendly with the mums.

It takes a bit of understanding and a willingness to accept that the other parents all want the best for their child just as you want the best for your child. But the option you (and I) have chosen isn't open to everyone and you need to be sensitive about that.

Don't give up on your DDs friend, keep inviting her round and make sure the other mum understands how important her daughter is to your child.

steppemum Tue 25-Jun-13 20:17:31

I would actually highly recommend not waiting to sept to move.

Mine had to move schools when we moved house. There were 2 weeks to go in the summer term. They had done their end of term outings at the old school, and although we could have (just) driven them back and forth after we moved till the end of term, we decided to move them.

It was a good decision as they saw the new school, met people, got familiar with the set up and then went on holiday.

If we hadn't done those 2 weeks, my kids would have worried all summer about the new school, especially ds.

It took them time, and dd1 has never had such good friends as at her old school, the only consolation is that her 2 close friends have themselves moved so they would no longer be there even if we had stayed.

VenusSurprising Tue 25-Jun-13 20:20:13

I'm sure they will be fine.
Have play dates with children from their old school.

Don't tell everyone at the old school, only some friends, and then only just before the move. This will lessen the risk of your kids being isolated, as "don't invite them, they're moving anyway" things can happen.

Make sure your kids know they can visit their old school anytime for a visit.

Emphasise the friendliness of the new kids and the facilities of the new school.

Don't listen to anyone who is saying anything negative about it! You know your reasons, and your kids best, and you're in charge.

Keep up extra curricular activities in neutral (not old and not new) space with a third set of friends.

DStone Thu 27-Jun-13 19:39:19

The difficulty of not telling everyone before you leave is if you are preparing your child beforehand so they have time to adjust and get used to the idea the children will talk to each other in the playground, my dd's best friends mums had heard from their children before I had spoken to them so not telling anyone until the last minute didn't really work for us.
Also, I only told a few mums and said we were moving to be close to family as the main reason and that it was a difficult decision to make. I've never said anything negative about the current school even though a huge advantage of moving will be that I think my dd will do better in the new school because of the smaller classes. So even though I have been very sensitive to the feelings of the other mums I am still getting the cold shoulder (from some not all).
I tried to handle the situation well for the sake of my dd but at the end of the day I've resigned myself to the fact that it's a difficult situation and not everyone will understand. Luckily for me even though my dd has not been invited to a couple of things she would normally have been invited too it seems to be upsetting me more than her which is a good thing.

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