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Would you move across the country against the will of your teenage children?

(713 Posts)
Hamnet Sat 23-Jan-21 08:30:06

How much say should teenage children have when a family is considering a move?

We live in London. We have done all our childrens’ lives. In fact all our adult lives. But I am from Devon and in lockdown I have both missed the countryside and felt that cities are dangerous from a health point of view and won’t be fun again for many years. I also now have flexibility to continue my career with limited time in the London office so a move is possible. DH feels the same.

My dream home is on the market. I knew this house as a child and used to imagine one day owning it but it seemed an impossible dream. DH and I want to offer on it. Our 14 year old daughter is distraught. She can’t stand the idea of leaving her school and friends (who she hasn’t seen hardly at all this year due to lockdowns). She also points out she is in year 10 and it’s a bad time to move schools due to GCSE coursework. She is finding this stage of life quite hard anyway and I am scared to damage her mental health further.

I think London will be in tiers for years to come and all the things we love about London will struggle to return after the pandemic. I also think further mutations or other pandemics are likely. I am desperate to move. Our other children are slightly younger and more malleable.

How much would you take on board the very strong feelings and risk to the mental health of a 14 year old?

OP’s posts: |
ADMum20 Sat 23-Jan-21 08:35:48

I wouldn’t consider moving across the country with a daughter at that age and point in schooling. I wouldn’t need to consider their feelings... it wouldn’t occur to me to do so.

ADMum20 Sat 23-Jan-21 08:35:59

Occur to me to move, I mean.

Lotsachocolateplease Sat 23-Jan-21 08:36:01

I wouldn’t consider a move away with a yr 10 or above child. It would be so difficult for her moving, having to change schools during a lockdown, no guarantee of her subjects being available to study at GSCE, moving away from her friends. It just seems so cruel however I’m not sure her needs trump yours and the rest of the families. I think the timings wrong.

billy1966 Sat 23-Jan-21 08:36:06

That is a hard one.
Have you checked out the schools?
Do you know anyone living there?
What are activities like for teens?
Does she play sports that she can join?

I would look into it but on balance would probably move as a family is more than one person and your husband is on board.

A difficult one.


DaisyHeadMaisy Sat 23-Jan-21 08:37:38

No, it would be terrible timing anyway with GCSEs. With covid thrown into the mix it's not like she can make new friends at a new school.

London will bounce back, but what opportunities will there be for your DCs in Devon?

EssentiallyDelighted Sat 23-Jan-21 08:38:59

No way would I move a child in year 10, sorry.

gottakeeponmovin Sat 23-Jan-21 08:39:58

Absolutely not at that age. You also need to consider that she will probably leave Devon at the earliest opportunity and go back to London. Are you prepared to have you daughter live and have a family that far away - because it will happen?

gottakeeponmovin Sat 23-Jan-21 08:40:42

Can't you buy the house as a holiday home and rent it?

EssentiallyDelighted Sat 23-Jan-21 08:42:16

The chances of being able to pick up the same GCSE options in another school are very slim due to different exam boards, timetabling. Different schools cover the same work in a different order. By the time the move went through she'd be near the end of year 10. I know there are some circumstances where its unavoidable (being made homeless, school closing down) but I would not do it through choice.

OfficerHops Sat 23-Jan-21 08:42:42

You seem to have a very gloomy outlook. We won’t be in tiers for years to come and London will bounce back quickly. Personally, I wouldn’t move a teenager and I think the opportunities for her (and your other children) will be significantly less in Devon.

Have you looked at the local schools in Devon? I would guess they won’t be as good as in London.

I think you need to consider a love to Devon in your retirement.

wixked Sat 23-Jan-21 08:43:19

Nope I wouldn't consider it. Let her be your dream child and let go of the house or buy it as a second home. I think you'd have to be very careful about schools if you did move and currently you can't even visit schools. I think it would be a cruel thing to do just to
own a specific house.

Theimpossiblegirl Sat 23-Jan-21 08:43:26

I wouldn't do it.
The fact you've commented that she's not seen her friends in lockdown implies you think she's making an unjustified fuss. If you move and then have a rocky few years with her, which is possible anyway with teens, will the house be worth it?

JulieJJ Sat 23-Jan-21 08:44:32

I have a daughter that age and I wouldn't move. But people do.

You seem quite certain London is doomed for years. What makes you so certain? Pandemics end, we have a vaccine so there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Are you just trying to justify the move to yourself? Maybe look at it from the point of view of would you still go if a year from now you felt London would be pretty much back to normal?

It's a scary time for everyone so I do understand the impulse to be so somewhere you feel is safe.

Soontobe60 Sat 23-Jan-21 08:44:40

It’s a no from me. Your daughter comes first - if you go ahead with this she may love it, or she may never forgive you!

EssentiallyDelighted Sat 23-Jan-21 08:44:55

I agree about possibly buying it and renting it out for a few years with a view to moving when say the youngest DC is 18.

OliverBabish Sat 23-Jan-21 08:44:56

There are so many children-centric people on this thread, which is nice. My parents would’ve carted me anywhere they felt like going! 14 is a really hard age. Ultimately, it is entirely up to you and your DH as the heads of your family. Is she an only child? It may be exceptionally hard for her to adjust if so

OliverBabish Sat 23-Jan-21 08:45:40

Ooh sorry just saw that she isn’t.

Quartz2208 Sat 23-Jan-21 08:46:54

you know that its not the right time to think about this and all of your reasons seem to be driven by coronavirus where the truth is you dont know what the effect will be on here on in Devon.

What you do know is that moving her at this time in this situation will have a profound and fairly awful affect on her future and her mental health.

stripes416 Sat 23-Jan-21 08:47:24

This happened to me when I was that age, please don't do it. Not only because of the side of it of having to start a new school and make new friends but I was predicted really good grades when I left my old school but then when I moved, the school I started at was terrible, I was there just over a year and my grades all completely dropped and I ended up failing on some of my exams as a result.. it may be different if the school you move to is a good school but I think also just being in a new area and having to adapt to everything would also put the pressure on and could effect schooling

superram Sat 23-Jan-21 08:47:27

I wouldn’t do it to kids of that age, it’s not fair. Could you buy it and rent out and downsize in your current area fir a few years. Let’s be honest the countryside is great for little kids but not teenagers.

PollyPorcupine Sat 23-Jan-21 08:48:03

My parents moved us from a town to the countryside when I was a preteen and it was SHIT for a teenager - every single thing that teens want to do to entertain themselves is so much easier in a town or city than in the sticks. Not to mention the importance of schools, exams, friendship groups etc. Can't you move to the country when they've moved out?

TierFourTears Sat 23-Jan-21 08:48:46

By the time you complete on a house, your 14 year old would be half way through a 2 year course. I really wouldn't move through choice at that stage. Sorry.

DinosaurDiana Sat 23-Jan-21 08:49:17

I wouldn’t consider it until my kids have done GCSE’s. And then only if they’re happy to go to college in the new place. If not, wait until the youngest is Uni age.

JaimieLeeCurtains Sat 23-Jan-21 08:50:06

What will your DD actually do in the Devon countryside? How will she get around? She's too young to learn to drive, public transport is absolute rubbish these days, taxis cost a bomb, and she won't know anyone or know the area.

Where will she go to school? How will she get there and back? Will her subjects be available? Will you be able to get registered with a dentist, GP etc? What's the broadband like?

Where will she get a Saturday job / job in future years? How will she travel to it? Will she dependent on the taxi services of mum and dad? Will you let her walk miles in the dark at night to and from friends' houses, or accept rides in older friends' cars, or chuck a wobbly at the thought?

My parents certainly didn't think it through. And we only moved from a tiny wee town. You'd be moving from London!

(From a former rural teenager.)

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