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How do you prepare your child for a big move?

(12 Posts)
secretsquirrel1 Tue 02-Aug-11 12:47:15

Not sure if I've posted in the right area.

I'm a SP, my DD is about to start Y3 in Sept.

For a variety of reasons, I am planning a big move in the next year or so from London to the West Country. Ideally, it will be at the end of this next school year (in July 2012).

I have friends in the 'new' area (one with older stepchildren, another couple who are childless but have friends with children), and I'll only be an hour away from my mum (recently bereaved) instead of the 3 at present.

I am really excited about it, but I am feeling a bit apprehensive about how I broach this with DD. I currently have an excellent support network (no family nearby) and obviously she has her friends - and I will be sorry to leave this and start all over again. I know she will make new friends, and she will be fine.

The move needs to happen, certainly before she gets to Y5 so she'll have time to make friends before Secondary. The area I'm interested in also has a very good secondary school (which appears to service a large area).

I would be grateful for any advice, please.

wannaBe Tue 02-Aug-11 12:57:05

we are moving on Friday and similarly ds will be going into y4 in September.

What I would say is that you should involve her as much as possible in the process. Not in terms of decision-making, but in terms of going to the new area/finding things there that will be exciting that you can plan to do, etc.

My ds is still quite upset that we will be moving from here and that he will be leaving all his friends behind. But he has been involved from the start, we took him with us for second viewings of houses; took him to visit potential new schools (obviously none of that is certain until you move so we couldn't say whether he would go to that school for definite), talked about how close it was to London, how we would be able to go to the museums/to meet dh for lunch in the holidays etc - things we can't do at the moment due to the distance away from dh's work.

I was also quite assertive though in that, wwhen ds was upset over selling the house etc, I acknowledged that of course it is upsetting to be moving, (it is upsetting for me too as I'm leaving everything that is familliar here, all friends family, any support and going to a brand new town where I'll know no-one, while dh is staying in his same job so his address and commute changes but other than that nothing does for him), the move has to happen and we can either let it get to us, or we can accept it and make it a positive experience.

I know once we're there ds will be ok. I emigrated when I was nine and was sent to a new (boarding) school where not only did I not have any friends but I didn't speak the language, and I was fine.

Kids are resilliant.

secretsquirrel1 Tue 02-Aug-11 13:07:18

Thanks, WannaBe. You're right with the 'being in on the planning from the start' - I shall start making lists and researching the area.

spiderpig8 Wed 03-Aug-11 17:35:38

I am going to go against the grain.I would present them with a fait acomplis shortly before it all happens , rather than giving them months or worry.

dikkertjedap Wed 03-Aug-11 19:37:34

As ultimately the dc has to adapt as it is your decision, I think it would be nice if there is something 'in it' for them. For example, nice bedroom the way they wanted but couldn't have before (if they care about something like that), joining a specific club or activity which they can start before they start new school so they can already make some friends (maybe research that together and whether there are waiting lists), special outing as treat once move is over. I agree that kids will adapt but it is nice if it can be made in a positive experience.

secretsquirrel1 Tue 09-Aug-11 11:25:31

Thanks Dikkertjedap - all I remember when it happened to me was that it was the worst experience of my life; ok, I was 14, and everything is magnified at that age, but it is fair to say that it did have a major effect on my life (not all negative!). I had my DB in it with me so I wasn't alone.

My DD is pretty resilient (has had to be with being an OC) but I don't take this for granted. That's why I'm after some advice on things to start planning for to make it easier for us both.

If I can get the school place sorted then I will try to get there before the end of the school year so that she knows where she is going...that would be a major start-up!

kittensliveupstairs Tue 09-Aug-11 11:37:41

We have had to tell DD that she's moving schools and countries three times. The last time she had only been at the school for four months. We had moved from Switzerland to Belgium and she'd already started and was enjoying school.
Last May, I flew to England and bought a house, while I was here I saw two junior schools and chose and applied for her admission.
Once we were sure of that we told DD about our move. She was very resistant initially, but I showed her photo's of the school and its brochure etc. We had a look at our new area on streetview and generally made it all sound positive.
In June she and I flew to England and spent the morning at her school. It couldn't have gone better. She was thrilled to bits with it.
We are now living in the house and DD is counting the days until she strarts. The excitement of the new school outweighs the sadness she is feeling as DH is still in Belgium.

An0therName Tue 09-Aug-11 15:10:54

we just moved with DS1 - he was 5 so its a bit different - he was not pleased though - we told him about 5 weeks before the move - we knew about it a good while before then - he is a worrier through so I wouldn't have wanted to let him know longer
we moved summer half term and that has proved to be great as we met people during the last half term and are meeting up during the holidays -and he is not worrying about his new school all holidays - but he was in reception so disruption of schooling wasn't a massive factor -although the last half term for anyschool year isn't probably the most productive for any school year.
to get a school place normally you will need an address so need to rent/buy something before applying - but check the relevant local aurthority
and DS is fine - misses his friends a bit but settling really well

secretsquirrel1 Thu 11-Aug-11 02:24:33

Kittens and Another - thank you for your thoughts.

I am going to rent beforehand - can't even bear to think about getting stuck in a chain and all the stress that entails.

My mother has some notion of us staying with her and not wasting money on renting, but she's an hour + away so that isn't going to be happening grin. Besides, as you've said, I'll need an address in order to get the school place!

kittensliveupstairs Thu 11-Aug-11 05:54:00

Good idea, we already knew we wanted to live here.
Currently, DD is doing a sports scheme thing, she's already met a couple of boys that are in her next class which has been good too.
Perhaps there will be some activities in the same vein where you are going?

An0therName Thu 11-Aug-11 06:16:20

Renting -v good idea in my view - I rang the LA and found out which schools had places and then looked for houses in those area
And agree whats in it for them - the big pull for my DS was my parents are near by!

secretsquirrel1 Sat 13-Aug-11 02:27:09

Oooh, I'm getting excited!

I'm on nights at the moment so whilst I'm on my break I've been looking at all the schools in the area - and trying Not to look at properties for sale!!

Thank you all.

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