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We feel awful about moving our kids to another school

(7 Posts)
yearzero Mon 30-Jun-03 10:41:45

Last night after months of wavering we told our 2 boys (9 and 5) that we were taking them out of private education and they will be going to the state primary up the road from Sept. This is partly financial, partly that our older one didnt really settle in the private school (he has been there 2 years after we relocated, previously he was happy in a state primary). The new primary is not 'first choice' as that one is full to bursting. Today I feel such a failure to put him through another move.losing friends etc, and maybe from the frying pan into the fire. Can anyone console me? Does anyone who has done it have any ideas for making it OK for them? Help, I feel really lousy.

princesspeahead Mon 30-Jun-03 10:48:52

Poor you, yearzero. Don't have any direct experience of moving them at 9, but moved my daughter at 5 when we moved out of london. if your older one didn't settle then can't you tell him you are doing it because you think he will be much happier there, and that it is more similar to the school he was previously at which he was happy at? And the 5 year old will be fine, they are so quick to adapt. When mine moved schools she spent half a day at the new school in the term before she moved so she could then visualise where she was going, meet some children and the teachers etc and it was much less daunting for her walking into the new school and class on day 1 of the new term. Don't know if that is possible (bit close to end of term now). Alternatively if you can find out any children who live close who will be in their class and try and get them to make friends or at least have a few play dates in the summer, that will make a huge difference as well. Any sort of familiar face in a classroom will help them settle in much quicker.
But don't feel a failure! I bet it works out much better in the long run - if you feel that they weren't settling in the other school it is much better (and braver) to move them, I'm sure by Christmas you'll be happy you made the right decision (and have several thousand pounds more in the bank!)

CAM Mon 30-Jun-03 10:55:47

yearzero, you haven't said how they took the news? Did they know it was a possibility, just wondering what their reaction was?

tigermoth Mon 30-Jun-03 21:49:50

I think princesspeahead has said most of what I'd say, so I won't repeat it. I moved my son to his third primary school (from a state one to a church one) when he was 7 years and I was in two minds about it and felt so terribly guilty for uprooting him again.

He was made very welcome by his new teacher and classmates - I think they felt for him having to leave his friends behind - and initially he was fine. It was the honeymoon period so to speak.

Then after a term or so he complained that he didn't have enough friends, but when we picked him up he seemed to have plenty of boys saying hello to him. He said the school and teacher were generally friendly it was just that he didn't have a special friend. I think he was old enough to see that all his friendships were very new and tentative compared to the other children, some of whom had been together for years. It took him a while to establish good, 'real' friendships - as it does naturally - but after 3 terms at the school the cries of 'no one likes me' died out completely. Now after 5 terms he has lots of friends. Throughout this time, even when he felt a little unpopular, he has always said how glad he is to be at this school. I have tried to be generally positive about the school always, even when acknowledging my son has had a bad day or a run in with a teacher or classmate. I think that's important. Once we made the decision and my son started attending the school, and we could see he was happy, we did not waver or threaten to take him out. It would have been too much of a mind game for my son. I think the one and only thing he feared is moving schools yet again.

If I can think of more, I'll add it a later, but I hope this helps.

robinw Mon 30-Jun-03 23:16:30

message withdrawn

Bron Wed 02-Jul-03 09:59:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

yearzero Thu 03-Jul-03 13:45:24

Thank you all for that. Yes they did have an inkling and we will put lots of feelers out for playmates over the summer. Will watch out for the honeymoon period too. I feel much better 3 days later; it's hard to accept you are not a perfect parent though isnt it? The trick is to know you made a mistake which affected your kid but still like yourself for the bits you get right.

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