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How and when do i tell DD we're moving?

(11 Posts)
floradora Sun 26-Mar-17 16:13:02

so it looks like I have landed a new job overseas, starting in 6months. In your experience when is it best to tell an 8 year old? DD knows that we talked of moving abroad "one day", but not yet that this is actually going to happen! She is very settled and happy in her school, has loads of friends locally. I don't want to spring it on her to late on, nor do I want to create unnecessary anxiety too far in advance. Any advice will be much appreciated!

floradora Sun 26-Mar-17 16:13:45

too late on, not "to late"

INeedNewShoes Sun 26-Mar-17 16:15:58

I'd tell her the minute you've signed the contract so that you know its definitely happening. Surely the more time to adjust to the idea, the better?

It would also be awful if she found out from someone else, and that could well happen if you tell friends or relatives before you tell her.

Farandole Sun 26-Mar-17 17:13:14

Hi, we moved 8 months ago and DD Was 7. We told the kids as soon as we knew for sure (i.e. contracts signed). That was about 6 months before the move. At that stage we had chosen a school for the children, so we could answer a lot of their questions.

To help with that conversation, I had bought children books about the new place. DD had a little cry but that only lasted a few minutes. Then we looked at the books, and she discovered they had a Disneyland, meerkats and pandas, so she cheered up. Then she looked at extracurricular activities offered by the new school, and got very excited.

There were various moments in the intervening 6 months were she got anxious or sad about leaving her school and friends. I told her it was normal to be scared, and at times I would be scared too. I reminded her she could always talk to us about her sad feelings and that her feelings were valid. We also used Disney's Inside Out to explore the sort of emotions one can have when they move far away (that's the underlying plot of the movie). Before we left, we made videos of the old house with the kids explaining all about it. They have never wanted to watch them though 😀 .

She is now very well settled into her new environment and has made lots of friends. Likewise my son, he has really blossomed in the new country.

I'm not saying it is always easy - I know it's sometimes a challenge (I have expat colleagues whose kids struggled with their new school and haven't made friends) but sometimes it all works out fine.

Good luck with the move.

floradora Sun 26-Mar-17 18:33:04

thanks - that has really reassured me, and the Inside Out tip is a great idea, we love that movie! And you're absolutely right NewShoes it would be awful if someone else told her. will have the talk tonight...

Zimmerzammerbangbang Mon 27-Mar-17 07:30:30

We also told our kids (a bit younger) as soon as we knew for certain after advice on here. It gave them time to come around to the idea as they really didn't want to move initially. We just kept bringing it up and making it a part of their life that became normal to them. They're very happy now!

mrsmortis Mon 27-Mar-17 11:56:40

It sounds like you are likely to move over the summer holidays? If so I'd make sure you let them know well before the end of term so that they get a chance to say goodbye properly.

For us that meant that we told them before it was 100% confirmed. But it was an internal transfer so I knew it was highly likely to happen and it was a good job we did tell them then as in the end we only got 10 days from the contracts being signed to moving day. I don't think they would have been nearly as happy with the entire process if they'd had that little warning.

We hosted a party in our back garden on the last weekend of term. Nothing complicated, a bouncy castle and a BBQ, so that our DDs could have a final fling with their friends in the UK before we moved to Germany in August. We also spent a weekend in the city before we moved out there so they could visit their new school and know a bit about what to expect.

Like Farandole says it wasn't all plain sailing, but on the whole we managed to sell the whole thing as an adventure.

Plunkette Thu 13-Apr-17 02:01:53

Our children knew it was a strong possibility for about a year but we told them it was definite at six months.

They needed time to get used to the idea and to start finding out about the country/area we were moving to.

We also made a point of visiting friends family who were spread round the UK before we went and that took six months.

One of mine really didn't want to move the other was fine about it.

The one that was most upset actually settled most quickly but they both went through about 4 months severe homesickness.

They are fine now and really like our new country. We're only here temporarily and they'll be both sad and happy to move home again in a few years.

Laptopwieldingharpy Thu 13-Apr-17 04:37:31

What mrs Morris said.
Would be awful to just pack up and go in the middle of summer without proper farewells!

A look see is also a very good idea to help her visualize her new life.

JooLoo Sat 15-Apr-17 07:34:36

We told DD, age 7, 10 months out. We were worried she might get wind of something and we wanted to involve her in our plans. She was surprisingly relaxed but the important things for her were that she would finish her current school year and that we would be back in U.K. for start of high school. You can't second guess their reactions or what will most bother them but the latter might be something fairly easy to is.

chocolateavocado99 Sat 15-Apr-17 16:06:23

Sorry, not sure what happened.
Dd2 (10) figured it out the day we signed our contracts. She was inconsolable as she was really happy where we were. It took her about six months after moving to accept the change.
Dh and I were talking a few weeks ago about something and She freaked out " Are you just going to keep moving us every 2 years?" It made us realise we need to keep her updated and consult her if we are looking at moving. Luckily for her, we will be here for a while and she loves it here.
So my advice is give her as much choice as you can and provide as much info about the new place as you can.
Good luck.

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