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dd will be okay won't she

(8 Posts)
waitingforsomething Wed 10-Feb-16 15:26:54

we are off to Singapore in 5 weeks for 1 year. DD age 3 and a bit is currently at pre-school and has taken a long time to settle in but in the last few weeks has made a very 'best' friend. They suddenly are inseparable, she's been invited to play and now she is distraught that we are moving and she will miss her friend. The pre-school told me today how upset both the girls are and DD keeps crying over her friend.
Everyone tells me they'll both forget soon as they are little and she will make new friends. I just feel so bad because she's taken so long to make a friend and I'm worried that she's just going to be lonely all year and won't settle into a new pre-school.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Wed 10-Feb-16 15:48:44

sad Don't expect her to forget quickly - adults can be very dismissive of small children's feelings and friendships, coming out with trite little phrases like "children are flexible" and "happy mummy happy kids" (blerg) as excuses not to put much thought into how moving house/ country/ entire life affects children BUT that said she will be fine of course!

Instead of just expecting her to forget, make a feature of the friendship - if the other mum is OK with you taking photos then get a few nice pictures of the girls together and make a scrap book - or even one for your DD and one for the friend. Do some special things together, see if the other mum would be up for Skyping, if you'll be moving back to the same area and they are likely to be still there and she'll be going back to the same preschool/ going to the same school plan a special, fun a little "see you in a year" tea party...

Then when you move you can take her lead - they might forget each other quickly but they probably won't for a while (my DD was not quite 2 when we left the UK but I had been hanging out with a small group from antinatal class since maternity leave and spending several days a week together as the babies all turned into toddlers, and she had incredibly good language skills and talked about her friends by name and in detail for a year or so after we left, despite making new friends.)

You aren't saying "goodbye forever" to all your friends, it must be hard for DD if she thinks she is! A year is an eternity, but you can tell her she will be coming back when she is 4.

Frame the move positively but also make a special time of the next 5 weeks and be positive about the friendship and making some memories and keepsakes for her to look back at in the first weeks after the move.

waitingforsomething Wed 10-Feb-16 15:58:46

Thanks- I have already talked to the other mum and she really wants them to write/Skype so I think that'll be lovely for them.
They will be at the same school when we return although I'll not get dd back into the same pre-school for the last term. They only live up the road and we will move back into our house which is just being rented out so they can rekindle I hope. They really are good friends it's lovely to see and I feel bloody awful

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Wed 10-Feb-16 19:31:20

When you move make a big effort to find a preschool or groups/ classes where she can find friends, or hang out where the other mums and kids her age do (will you have a pool shared between a lot of flats maybe? We're in Germany so for us it was the village playground). We threw DD a massive 2nd birthday "coffee and cake" party about 6 weeks after we moved, and invited every closeish in age child we'd met in the village playground with their parents and put beer benches on our drive - was a brilliant way to settle us into the village and help DD make new friends. I also started at a toddlers group with her immediately.

I may have gone a bit OTT because I felt bad about uprooting her when she was so happy, even though she was so very young... I felt triply bad because I was also expecting her to acquire a new language which I didn't speak either in order to make new friends, and was about to rock her pfb world by presenting her with a baby brother!

It all worked out though and DD made friends quickly. I think having pictures of and talking lots about her old friends helped the transition, as did keeping busy with new friends. Being a year younger DD didn't really get that we were never going back (except to visit) and it was a bit sad when she asked where her old friends were at her party sad but she was soon distracted by having lots of fun stuff going on.

WhimsicalWinnifred Wed 10-Feb-16 21:34:07

My dd (4) has had to move away from a very best friend twice now. Once at two which went very smoothly. She was excited with her new environment and only mentioned her occasionally and once less than a month ago. She has once said that she misses her friend but was more upset before the move. We told her she would be able to see him and keep in touch. They won't of course but the idea is good for her. She is definitely a sensitive kid so I was very surprised.

Kids are resilient and it won't be as bad as you think.

uhoh1973 Thu 11-Feb-16 20:29:20

I dont even have memories before the age of 5! Personally I wouldnt mention the move until you have to and then try to make it as positive as possible. Perhaps they can write letters to each other and skype?!

WhimsicalWinnifred Thu 11-Feb-16 20:46:51

You might not have memories now from pre 5yrs old but her dd is 5 so she will remember. I assume op is talking about trauma now not life long trauma

uhoh1973 Thu 11-Feb-16 21:11:38

Well as she only has 5 weeks til they move its now a 'done deal' so there's no point worrying about it and the thing is to make it as positive as possible. They are only going for 1 year (in my experience it takes about 6 months to unpack and find your feet so it should whizz by). If they can skype and write OP will just have to give it positive spin about having lots of exciting things to tell her chum, taking photos and making a diary / scrapbook to show her when they get back etc etc. No trauma ;-)

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