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If you have small children, how did you sell the idea of moving abroad to them?

(11 Posts)
RunningRunningRunningRunning Tue 07-Jun-16 22:07:56

Especially if they regularly see their grandparents and other relatives.

How did they take the news and has the outcome of their happiness worked out positively if you have made the move?


AppleMagic Tue 07-Jun-16 22:24:30

We've just moved with a 4 and a 2 year old (it's technically our second move but first one was only a 45min flight away so we still saw a fair amount of family).

Some ideas:
Get them excited about the new desserts they can try/fun activities/days out.
If you've got family visiting at Christmas or you're going home then that can help when they don't really understand time. When we told dd that she would see granny at Christmas/Easter/Halloween it's more tangible to her than saying "in a few months" etc. She still doesnt know how far away it is but it means something to her so it's reassuring.
We started the 4yr old at preschool immediately and because we chose a British/International school the structure was very similar to her old preschool and it helped us get settled into a routine.
Lots of Skype. We speak to Gps a few times a week and other relatives/friends at the weekend.

We've found they've adapted really quickly. In fact, I've been amazed at how resilient mine have been but I expect if they were a few years older it might be harder as they'd be more established in their lives at home.

Laptopwieldingharpy Wed 08-Jun-16 01:05:12

Pre schoolers adapt very quickly. The question really is how will YOU cope if you are dependant on your support system.
They will feed off your anxiety if you have any.
What kind of posting is it?
The rule of thumb is it is easier to adapt where tgere is a large expat population and in big cities.

naturalbaby Wed 08-Jun-16 08:04:04

To be honest, they didn't really realise what it meant to be moving away. Before the move we just talked about where we were going - looked at pictures and talked about changing school. They were excited about a new house and exploring the new area.
As a child who did it myself, I also didn't move with the thought that we were moving away from family and friends - it was bit of an adventure. It sunk in much later.
We travel to family regularly so my dc's can count down the weeks till they see them.

ChilliMum Wed 08-Jun-16 09:00:39

Just reiterating what has already been said.
It's an adventure
Don't talk timescales we never said we were going away for ever but fixed on visiting at Christmas.
Acknowledge the sadness but don't dwell or compare. I found a big cuddle and I miss home too chat was fine.
We had a little holiday in the region before, did lots of cool fun things (see tourist info for ideas)
We visited the village where we were going to live.
If there are any local and expat Facebook groups etc for the area join.
We went to everything whether it was to our taste or not.
I was bold about following up introductions with play dates (I once spent 2 hours reverse searching email addresses on a group email to find the one of a woman who I had spoken to briefly at a coffee morning but had children the same age. I hadn't thought to ask for contact details at the time but we were in great need of some friends) I emailed and asked to meet up and it turned into a great friendship. If there is a good size expat community then people know what it is like to be new and we found them very welcoming.
We were so busy reality didn't set in for about a year by which time we had built a new life which dd would have been just as sad to leave.
We can also ski locally and could never afford to if we lived in the UK. This alone is enough for the kids.
The hardest thing I think was me. I spent the first year making sure everyone else was good I forgot about me and suddenly I was incredibly homesick. So please think about you too, find a hobby group, yoga class whatever because it is just as important that you are happy as someone said above kids are resilient but pick up a lot from their parents.
Best of luck with your move, we've had some tough times but never once regretted it smile

RosaHibiscus Sun 12-Jun-16 10:02:40

Following with interest. We are about to move in August, but we will have a couple of weeks holidays before the move. DS1 is 6 and it's mostly worried about his toys being shipped. However I am not sure about the last time he will see his friends. I suspect that it's better not to officially say it's the Last time he will see them until next summer. Will treat it as a normal playdate.

KateInKorea Wed 15-Jun-16 05:17:24

We told our 4 year old (at the time) that they would have their own room.
After a few weeks they asked when we would be going home, and was gutted to find out that the answer was not until you are 8. They cried for months about it even though they did have good things in the new place.

He didn't speak the local language and it was heartbreaking to see them start to play with kids and then talk to their parents because the adults could speak English but kids couldn't. Obviously once school started things improved rapidly but it does take a couple of months.

We also sold long holidays with grandparents. My mother writes to the children and they absolutely treasure those letters.

JoandMax Wed 15-Jun-16 05:22:51

Mine were just 3 and 4 - we didn't mention it that much to them and only a few weeks beforehand, tried to keep it as low key and no big deal (despite how we were feeling inside......)! We said how exciting it would be, we'd be near the beach and have a pool so could go swimming lots. Didn't really mention leaving GPs etc and just said they'd come and stay 'soon'.

They both settled straightaway, DS1 started a new school and within a week it was like he'd always been there!

MamaDuckling Thu 16-Jun-16 19:02:58

They are so adaptable, it really will be easier than you think. What's hard is when one suddenly announces 'I Want to go home' or 'I don't like my new house' - that hurts! However, they are fickle, and the next day there is something new and exciting that they do like - the pool, or new friends. Try to keep them focused on these things.

We saw GP's daily at home. I was scared that a very special bond would be broken when we moved abroad. However, when my DM came to visit it was as if they had never been apart.

You will be fine. And Skype is a wonderful thing!

DailyMaui Thu 16-Jun-16 19:12:59

We just told ours it was an exciting adventure. And they had a ball! None of the stress the adults had... lucky bastards. Living abroad opened their eyes to so many possibilities in life and really widened their horizons.

We really, really missed family though and being 7.5 flying hours away was hard - i was in tears when my brother came over after 8 months and sobbing after leaving a holiday at my mum's when I hadn't seen her for a year. But the bond was always there.

One settled into school very quickly - the other didn't and we ended up moving 100km to make things better for her. It was a hideous commute for me (and the roads were hell) but worth it for her happiness. Plus I car shared with work colleagues so only had to do the drive one or two times a week.

They loved the pools, the beaches, the whole newness of it all. They will never forget it and they made friends really easily. It was a good thing for them.

hongkongbound Thu 23-Jun-16 10:10:39

This is a great thread, thank you - going to have to break the news to my DC (8 and 6)shortly that we are moving them to the other side of the world for 2 years. They'll be leaving a school they love and lots of great friendships. They will be gutted sad but I do think it'll be an amazing adventure for them

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