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Moving to the USA...when do we tell DD?

(11 Posts)
Cantspellmynameright Sat 25-Jun-11 18:21:41

We will be moving in Jan/Feb 2012 and DD turns 5 this Dec. She will have had one term in Reception with her friends, and some of those parents know about the move. Obviously her teacher to be does too. We also have DS but he will be 2.5 when we move so a bit easier!

When should we tell her? I don't want her finding out from hearsay but also can't take several months of questions over and over!!

Any advice cheerfully received!!

RuthChan Sat 25-Jun-11 20:07:02

I wouldn't tell her for a while yet.
I have learned by experience with my 4 year old DD that telling things too far in advance makes for a painful and drawn-out waiting period. They have such a vague sense of time at that age.
Now that the summer term is drawing to close there will be little chance of her finding out over the summer. You can therefore safely leave it until the autumn.

fluffles Sat 25-Jun-11 20:12:06

i'd start talking now about it in an off-hand way... things like 'when we live in america then x y z..'

or 'when you're bigger, we'll move to america..'

there is a huge amount of change in chilrens lives - playgroup, nursery, school, they take it all in their stride.. your dd won't treat the move any differently from any of those big changes if you don't.

what i WOULDN'T do is make it 'a big chat' or like something she should be concerned about... just start talking about it like it's normal and it will become normalised in her mind.

are you nervous about the move? you sound nervous.. more nervous than excited really.

Cantspellmynameright Mon 27-Jun-11 20:14:08

Thanks for the replies! I have had a manic few days so not got on here to see them!

RuthChan unfortunately we live in a very small village with a lot of people who know about the move (as they work with DH) and she will be at Nursery all Summer with the children of some of these people!

fluffles We have started to chat a bit about America as DH has recently been over there. She is hooked on watching 'Unwrapped' on the Food Network as she loves the idea of all the different foods, sweets etc out there smile

I am swinging between really nervous and really excited, it's a fantastic opportunity for all of us, and financially fab too!

MovingAndScared Mon 27-Jun-11 20:35:45

I moved my DS at 5 - after 21/2 terms of reception and he knew about it 6 weeks before we moved -that was quite long enough -although it was complicated by his dad working away for a month
personaly if it was possible to move before she started at school I would as its seems a very long time in advance - and would reduce the disruption to her
we knew about 4 months before - I told everyone who knew to keep quiet - it wasn't as many people
we did have general conversations about moving and whether it would be a good thing -

Cantspellmynameright Mon 27-Jun-11 22:29:08

MovingAndScared unfortunately the move is determined by DH's work and they set the date to move. I'm hoping she'll enjoy the start of school with all her friends, we really have no other option on her starting school, other than to keep her in nursery and I don't think that would be fair as all her friends are moving up and she is very excited by it all. We have had lots of conversations about moving etc as we only moved to our current house earlier this year (moving locally though!).

kreecherlivesupstairs Tue 28-Jun-11 05:50:54

Don't give her too much time to think about it. when we knew we were moving from Thailand to Switzerland our DD was 7. I stupidly told her in the October half term that we would be moving the following August. DD had and still doesn't have any concept of time.
We went on holiday to Cambodia and somebody was pulled out of line quite roughly by the police. DD looked worried and asked if this was our new country. I reassured her that it wasn't. We got to our hotel and she asked if this was our new house. More reassurance.
When we knew we were moving to Belgium, I told her about 3 months before we went.

MmeBlueberry Tue 28-Jun-11 07:00:07

I would tell here when practical things for the move start kicking in, or at least two weeks before the move.

mummytime Tue 28-Jun-11 07:12:38

But the OP seems concerned that if she didn't mention it now, then someone else in her village is bound to.
Are you having any sussing out visits? Has she been to the US before? Where are you going (North, South, East, West, central, big city, small town?)? Because this could affect what you want to prepare her to expect eg. deep snow and cold in Chicago, or warm in Florida.
Watch some of the endless US TV, and point out that school won't be quite like that when she goes. Maybe read the Judy Moody books to her?

But I would keep the time vague (unless she has a good sense of time), so when you are much bigger and we go....

Cantspellmynameright Tue 28-Jun-11 16:59:17

Thanks for the further replies smile

mummytime We don't get a sussing out visit as everything is basically there for us when we arrive. DP has been to the states several time but not to this place (not being deliberately vague - just not able to say!), we have never been. Furthest DD has traveled is Sussex to The Midlands and she thinks that is the other side of the world! We are planning on buying a big world map! It is midwest, full range from very cold winters to very hot summers! She will be going into kindergarten once we are settled which will be very different from school I imagine!

mummytime Tue 28-Jun-11 19:24:20

I'd tell her all about the winters then. Maybe read "The Little House in the Big Woods". If it is a city start to find out a bit more about it. For example I lived in Chicago and I would tell her about the Field Museum and the chance to see a real, genuine complete T Rex skeleton. I would also talk about the chance to play on the lake beach in summer. Alternatively Michigan is full of amazing country, and so on. If you have whatever cable channel it is on, watch "Little Bear" and talk about just how huge those lakes are. Do see if you can find any books set where you are going, and maybe see if they can give you a reading list of US classics, eg. The Little Train that Could. My kids loved "Make Way for Ducks" before we went to Boston.

My other top tip is, if you are even vaguely religious, do try going to church (or whatever) its where a lot of social life happens in the US.

I'm not sure Kindergarten will be that different from Reception really, I think the educational approaches vary a lot more when you get older.

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