Talk

Advanced search

Did you live overseas as a child, or a parent living overseas with their children ..

(53 Posts)
cba Mon 07-Jul-08 20:42:20

If so could you give me your opinion on the following:
1. How easy did you / children settle?

2. was it a joint decision?

3. Did the kids / you go to private or local school was your experience?

4. If it was a hot country what was life like once the winter hit?

5. If you were a child what happened when you reached syay 18 or university age?

6. Do you think the county your in have enough to offer a child growing up into a young adult?

7. Do you / child always feel like an outsider?

Sorry for all the questions but I have being pressured severley by my husband to move. Not so simple when he keeps changing his mind where he wants to go and we have three young childre 7, 5 and 3.

He says I am a bad wife if I dont, but, I feel until he knows exactly what he wants then how can he expect me to forsee life in another county? sorry so long

moondog Mon 07-Jul-08 20:45:18

I did and it was great. smile
Are you thinking of going somewhere with an international school?

escape Mon 07-Jul-08 20:47:46

I can answer all your questions, but as kids are 7, 2 and 1 i don't know about tweenagers and adjusting.

'a bad wife if i don't'... is that serious btw?

what countries does he have in mind ?

cba Mon 07-Jul-08 20:49:39

oh moondog, yes there will be an international school. Would either be mainland greece or cyprus.

I just worry so much that the kids wont settle, I wont settle. The in-laws would probably move as well but they dont help us now so could not see it happening there. Have been on hol several times with them and they just expected us to sing to their tune, she can be very controlling.

Did you always feel though you wanted to come back home? Why did you come back?

cba Mon 07-Jul-08 20:50:57

oh escape, me kids are only 7years, 5years and 3 years so not too different to yourself.

I am really getting my knickers in a twist. Yes escape, he is serious. Could knock his head off sometimes if I didnt love him so much

Romy7 Mon 07-Jul-08 20:53:36

ours are 8,6 and 4 - two were born o'seas in different countries and we're planning on going again quite soon, this time for good. i didn't go abroad even on hols as a kid tho. I've always known that if we were to settle o'seas dh would go to canada, so culturally it's not a million miles away.
but 'bad wife'?
pros and cons, research, and joint decision, surely?
has he got something he's running from or mid-life crisis hitting?

moondog Mon 07-Jul-08 20:54:32

Why are in laws coming??
It will be fine. Kids are really able to cope with change. We lived in tonnes of different places, some of them so remote that we had to be home schooled. Wouldn't change a thing.

We never did come back really. My parents are still abroad after 45 years and I came back to go to uni but my dh now works all over the world. I am home with the children most of the time (my work, MSc and want then educated through medium of Welsh but spend a lot of time with him. Off to bangladesh in a week to spend summer there actually. Going abroad does not mean giving up on your homeland.We are all passionate Welsh folk (my sisters also live abroad) and have always maintained very strong ties.

Going away isn't even like it was when i was a kid. Now you have internet, Skype, satellit tv, the works. And if you really don't settle then you can come home!

Give it a whirl and give it at least 6 months before making any decisions.

escape Mon 07-Jul-08 20:54:56

well, to be honest thats more than a bit crap of him , and a really shitty attitude.
we've just spent 3 years in malta, and had awonderful time - both boys born there.
English is an official language though, so there were never any barriers.
not really a joint decision 5 years ago to move away, more like, he went for a job he wanted and got it, and I didn't feel like i had agood enough reason to say no.
Think we both knew we didn't want to stick around the UK though.
first 2 years were in Jersey, which is afunny old place, followed by my new 'home' of Malta and now in Dubai - which is more than a bit weird!

FrazzledFairyFay Mon 07-Jul-08 20:56:14

I lived abroad as a child (aged birth-15) - and we moved every 2-5 years. We were always going to cme back to the Uk eventually though as they were overseas postings with my Dad's job.

I went to international/British schools until 12, then UK boarding school (and then University in the UK but my parents were back here by then).

We always socialised, etc prmarily with the expatriate community although we did also have local friends.

I loved living abroad, although I did find it hard moving on each time we moved country and each time my friends moved on.

You are absolutely not a bad wife to have serious doubts.

Romy7 Mon 07-Jul-08 20:58:56

pretty big expat community in cyprus i think - but maybe older once the kids have grown? i know a few who've moved out there and their kids can bring the grandchildren out to stay... i have friends that were looking at moving to crete - they went on a recce at the end of last year (they have a 4 yo) but have postponed their plans at the mo... they are going to have another couple of weeks out there this summer i think...

cba Mon 07-Jul-08 21:01:08

He has always talked of it, but I thought we had agreed that we would get a place here out of town and go abroad all the school holidays.

I just cannot get my head round the sun going down and winter hitting. Winter can be quite bad in Athens.

I suppose I just feel out of my depth. I have said that if I was able to spend a few summers I may change my mind, but how can I say yes when I have never been.

Inlaws would be going as pil is from there. Although been here since a teenager.

Ours are 6,4 and 1, we live in a hot country so don't have winters at all smile

They go to a private school, bloody expensive but the only option. Schools are fine until 13, then the dilemma. Some stay here, some go back to the UK to board. Parents say there are issues with the dc missing out culturally at this age and like them to go back to their 'own' country to reaquaint themselves.

Yes it was a joint decision, I can't imagine coming here against my will, that would have made both of us very unhappy.

We all settled in very easily. But having moved 10 times in 10 years between 6 countries, in my opinion its a question of a positive and calm approach. If you want to settle in easily, then you will. The dc will adapt very quickly at this age. Ds1 (4) said just the other day, 'I much prefer living here to England' when asked why he said 'it isn't cold here' smile

Fwiw, my mother lives in Greece on one of the small islands and enjoys it, but I would be over the moon if she would move out here to be near us and the dc. I do think they can miss out a lot by not having at least one set of grandparents nearby.

escape Mon 07-Jul-08 21:01:26

an accquantance from Malta went to Cyprus over a year ago with her three young children and I believe its going really well for her. Its a daily direct flight away from Malta too - so if she hadn't have settled she could have gone back very easily

OverMyDeadBody Mon 07-Jul-08 21:05:07

I grew up abroad, so my answers are:

1. I was 6. I don't remember it being hard to settle. I remember it being an adventure.

2. I'm pretty sure it was. My dad was offered a job, my mum thought is would be a great idea.

3. I was sent to a local school first, I picked up the language pretty quickly and everyone was very nice to me. I was a minority, my siblings and I where the only white kids. I went to an International British private school from the age of 12 onwards though, and did IGCSEs there.

4. It was a very hot country, there was virtually no distinction between summer or winter or any season in between, just relelntless heat. We dreamed of grass and trees and rain {smile]

5. When I was 16, after GCSEs, I went to boarding school in England to do my A-levels and be resident here long enough not to have to pay for university. I could have done A levels there but options where very limited.

6. It was my parents who gave us all we needed, they are adventurers and explorers so we had lots of fun travelling around, exploring, camping, hiking, yes we missed out on lost of things kids here take for granted, but it was a different life and not necessarily a worse one. I think the experience helped shape me into a very open minded tolerant person. And I'm very appreciative of how lucky we are in the UK and sometimes wonder what people are complaining about, as I've seen and experienced so much worse.

7. No. I was aware we where different of course, but not an outsider. At the British school every other person was from some country other than the one we where living in, so everyone was an outsider really, but no, it wasn't sometihng I ever thought about as a kid.

I am desperately trying to find a way to move abroad with my DS as I think it is such am amazing experience and helps to shape people into ell rounded tolerant open minded people.

cba Mon 07-Jul-08 21:05:59

ah but now he is saying he would prefer Ahtens to Cyprus. Think I could have coped a bit better with Cyprus as everyone seems to speak english. Of course, I would have a go at learning the language before going anywhere.

Also, the winters in Cyprus are alot milder.

I have to admit I knew what I was letting myself in for before moving as I knew the country and region quite well.

Your idea of spending holidays at first is a good one, my mum said that for her it made the difference being there in the winter after all the tourists had gone and the sun had gone too, then it felt 'real' and not just a holiday. Also she escapes from there to here in August as she just can't stand the heat....

OverMyDeadBody Mon 07-Jul-08 21:06:36

It was a culture shock when I first moved back to the UK, and a very big one too.

cba Mon 07-Jul-08 21:12:56

oh I think, we just have to start going out there alot as much as possible but also in winter.

I suppose it is just the fear of the unkown. Also, dh works away all the time anyway so I am always alone with the children. Even when he is home he is never in as always so busy.

He said if we were abroad that would change, just fear it would not change and I would be in a strange country with absolutely no support. Well, maybe a little from inlaws if they were there but we dont always see to eye to eye on how kids should be brought up, i.e. dh had an affair and according to mil it was my fault!!

1066andallthat Mon 07-Jul-08 21:17:20

1. Me - pretty well; DSs struggled the first year.

2. No, I was definitely pressurised into it; the irony is we have since split and I'm still here with the children.

3. Local schools - no alternative, but very, very happy with the one we fell across i.e. three minutes from us.

4. Hot, not really, just marginally better than the UK.

5. Friend's children have done university here, but as we live in a backwater they have to move to study, so really, there isn't much difference (apart from money) between that and going back to the UK to study.

6. Definitely, there are opportunities for music, sport, a local theatre and an immense amount of personal freedom. I sat and watched two little girls (4 and 2) on the beach "on their own" i.e. their parents weren't there - the local teenagers were in charge. It is similar to my childhood - children play out, children have their own space and by and large, it is fine.

7. Yes, I am always going to be foreign - it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

ComeOVeneer Mon 07-Jul-08 21:23:36

I went to boarding school in th UK as a result of my father's international jobwhen I was 9 (prior to that I went to many international schools all over the world for any where between 6 months to 2 years)

1. How easy did you / children settle? We saw it as an adveture to begin with so never really "learnt" to develop homesickness

2. was it a joint decision? Not really (when I was a lot older I learnt that my mother was often very upset, but understood why it had to hapen).

3. Did the kids / you go to private or local school was your experience? We were at private schools (nut funded by the company my father worked for)

4. If it was a hot country what was life like once the winter hit?
I don't remember the winters in the European countries as I was younger then, but when we were older we were in the Far East abd the Middle East, so no cold winters at all.

5. If you were a child what happened when you reached syay 18 or university age?
We went to uni in the UK and continued life as normal.

6. Do you think the county your in have enough to offer a child growing up into a young adult?
Depends where you are and wether your child lives there or visits for holidays. Anywhere can be an invaluable experience.

7. Do you / child always feel like an outsider?

Sorry for all the questions but I have being pressured severley by my husband to move. Not so simple when he keeps changing his mind where he wants to go and we have three young childre 7, 5 and 3.

He says I am a bad wife if I dont, but, I feel until he knows exactly what he wants then how can he expect me to forsee life in another county? sorry so long

WelliesAndPyjamas Mon 07-Jul-08 21:25:05

"Did you live overseas as a child, or a parent living overseas with their children" Yes to both

1. How easy did you / children settle? I settled badly being a moody 12 yr old but my DS settled well, being 2 yrs olds at the time.

2. was it a joint decision? to move? yes

3. Did the kids / you go to private or local school was your experience? No, I went to local school and it was fine. Best way to learn the language quickly. DS goes to a nursery school, state-owned but we have to pay for it, and it has REALLY helped him gain friends and learn the language.

4. If it was a hot country what was life like once the winter hit? Life was the same just a bit milder, sometimes we had to wear a jumper to school. grin

5. If you were a child what happened when you reached syay 18 or university age? My parents moved us home when I was 16 for mainly family reasons so I had 2 yrs of A Level to get used to the UK system again. Good move IMO.

6. Do you think the county your in have enough to offer a child growing up into a young adult? Hmm, tough one. Instinctively I would prefer to see my DS moving back to the UK when he reaches his early teens or thereabouts because educationally he will have move choice and his life could be 'broader' iyswim.

7. Do you / child always feel like an outsider? As a child I didn't feel like an outsider even though I was always 'the foreigner'. Here, I worry that DS will be treated differently for being foreign but people here reassure me that it will be in a nice way, for being different/interesting. As an adult, I definitely feel like an outsider here - all I have to do is open my mouth and try to speak!! But in my own home here and in the peace and quiet of our land I feel very comfortable.

Califrau Mon 07-Jul-08 21:38:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I agree with Califrau's last words of wisdom, happy parents make happy children wherever you are in the world. smile

WelliesAndPyjamas Tue 08-Jul-08 15:30:13

HEar hear Cali. Wisely said.
DH always says when times are tough here (and tough times when you are away from home and family feel a hundred times worse btw) that it doesn't matter where we are in the world as long as we are happy and together, that is what makes our home. Or something like that.

FluffyMummy123 Tue 08-Jul-08 15:32:11

Message withdrawn

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now