Easing the transition for a 3 year old moving to a new country

(12 Posts)
beachavendrea Sat 19-Jan-13 20:18:43

We are leaving London with our three year old in 6 weeks to move back to NZ. We've talked about the holiday we've going to have on the way there (Disneyland) but not actually leaving home and not coming back. does anyone have any tips on how to handle this, when to broach the subject?

We are both from NZ and skype pretty regularly with Family but my ds loves his friends. In fact his first words when he wakes up are 'see my friends?' Also i'm 4 months pregnant so lots of changes for him.
Any guidance or advice appreciated

OP’s posts: |
Happygoluckylady Sat 19-Jan-13 20:37:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

natation Sat 19-Jan-13 21:41:52

I really don't think you should make any issue at all, constant discussions about moving I think could be counter-productive. Our 7 year old wouldn't be able to tell you a thing about her life from 0-3 in the UK, even our 11 year old might struggle a bit.

BertieBotts Sat 19-Jan-13 21:51:11

3 year olds are quite fickle in regards to friends - he probably will be sad at first but he'll quickly get into the swing of seeing new friends.

I think it probably would be worth talking to him though, just matter of factly. "When we go to live in NZ, it's going to be really hot there, like summer all the time." "When we go to live in NZ you'll be able to see [family member] as often as you like." "When we go to live in NZ you can go to see the sea" "We're going to live in a big house with a blue door" etc etc - anything that's different, just mention it. And then also mention that when you go, he won't be able to play with X any more and that he might be sad about that and that's okay. Perhaps explain that you will have friends that you'll miss as well and that it's sad when we miss people and that's normal.

If you're good friends with the parents you could perhaps set up skype so that the DC can see each other? And he can send photos via facebook or whatever. DS had a friend who moved to Hong Kong and he likes seeing pictures of him on facebook. He's a bit young to write letters etc but he could perhaps scribble on a postcard or the back of a photo and send it, if you tell him all of these things he will start to process it in his head and it won't be such a big shock.

We're moving to Germany this year and DS has known about it for a while, at first he was all "I don't want to go, I just want to stay here for ever" but more recently he keeps asking when we'll go, and he understands that we will pack all of our things into a big van and so he won't have to leave all of his toys etc. He keeps asking "Can we take this into Germany?" grin

SavoyCabbage Sat 19-Jan-13 22:03:52

I agree with natation, that you shouldn't talk about it too much or place too much importance on it.

My dd was two when we emigrated and she asked and asked for the people and places she had left behind. She soon forgot (not that I think thats a good thing).

My five year old understood that she had been on two planes and therefore couldn't go to certain places any more.

ripsishere Sat 19-Jan-13 22:54:07

I agree that you shouldn't make a big deal of it.
Our DD has been shipped round the world and settles really well each time.
I can't remember any trauma around her move from Oman to Bangkok. she was around the same age.
She was puzzled by the rain. It only rained twice in the whole three years we were in Oman.

laptopwieldingharpy Sun 20-Jan-13 00:00:50

Agree you shouldn't overthink it but equally i cant see why you're witholding the information?
before the movers invade your house indicate you are going away for a bit and let him help you pack up his favorite for a sense of closure.
In a couple of months he'll have new friends and only a vague recollection of his previous life. Really. It will be fine.


TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Sun 20-Jan-13 07:21:22

Do tell her before you move, as Laptop says, or it will all come as a bit of a shock! 3 year olds do of course adapt and forget etc. but that doesn't mean their feelings and attachments aren't real, and they understand a huge amount as long as it is explained on their level. My eldest was only 19 months when she moved, but linguistically about on the level of a 2.5 year old (when I look at videos of her chatting at that age I am struck by how much further on her language was than my current 20 month old) and when we moved her biggest concern was whether her friends could come to her birthday party (she had been to a run of 2nd birthday parties just before we left) - so it was a priority for me to make some new friends for her - she was content with her new friends coming to her party (I invited pretty much every preschooler in our tiny village, it erved to introduce us to the community too, esp as I was 9 months pregnant when I had the party for her and had her brother the next day, so it stuck in people's minds smile ) I'd look into toddlers groups or a part time Kindergarten place for your son to start ASAP after moving if he is friend focussed, so he isn't bored and lonely, and that should help the transition.

WhatSheSaid Sun 20-Jan-13 07:27:52

Do you mind me asking which area of NZ you're moving to? <nosey>

Labootin Sun 20-Jan-13 07:28:02

One thing I do thinks important is that the place that you move too has some familiar things .. Most importantly the child's bedroom so airfreight a few boxes of toys (rather than wait for cargo ship) take a suitcase full of stuffed toys and the favourite blanket etc

beachavendrea Sun 20-Jan-13 07:34:20

All good ideas, i am conscious of not stressing him out too much by making a big deal of it, but don't want it to be a total shock.
Glad to hear most people's dc didn't find it too much of a big deal. My sister has already investigated playgroups and a kindergarten for me so he should make new friends.
Talking positive things about our new home is a good idea.
We're moving to Auckland!

OP’s posts: |
WhatSheSaid Sun 20-Jan-13 07:47:30

Ah, there's quite a few of us in Auckland, we have a thread in Living Overseas (it's not just for Aucklanders but most people on the thread live there). If you need any info or just want a chat, look for the "where's best to live in nz thread"

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