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How do you tell the kids you're moving?

(18 Posts)
Dotty342kids Thu 06-Oct-11 22:27:31

My dh and I are thinking of moving 2.5hrs away from where we are now, back to the area I grew up in. My children are 8 and 6. The six year old was born here and the 8yr old certainly doesn't remember our previous house so to all intents and purposes it will be their first house move.
My DS in particular (the 8yr old) always takes a while to adapt to change, new classes, meeting new friends on holidays etc so I'm really worried that he'll find it hard in particular.
How do you go about telling the kids that you're moving them away from their friends, clubs, favourite parks and everything that they know and love?
I'm feeling really traumatised about having to discuss this with them and would love any tips from you in order to stop myself crying in front of them!
We have not 100% made the decision yet but I'd say we're about 90% there.

madwomanintheattic Thu 06-Oct-11 22:43:27

you just make it part of ordinary life. as indeed it is.

you must have a reason, presumably to be near family, or becasue you think it's better for x,y or z reasons, so you just involve them in the conversation. then you can get them to help look on rightmove or whatever, then you can all go for a weekend trip to see autnie x and have a drive around, pointing out swimming pools and schools and scout halls, with you saying 'ooo, look! i wonder if you'll go to that school!' and making it all new and exciting.

bursting into tears and being overly dramatic won't help a bit. normal to be nervous about moving, but if you're moving at least in part because it will be beneficial for the family, then i don't understand why you would cry.

save the tears for when they actually do leave their schools.

2.5 hours is nothing. you can visit at the weekend if you want to. the kids will start school and make new friends and find new clubs. kids move all the time and survive.

don't whatever you do, do what my parents did. they sat us down very seriously and broached the subject of moving, very very seriously, explaining where it would be to, what it would it would mean etc etc. it was a such a serious discussion that it freaked my sister out completely and she went into meltdown, assuming because of the general tone that this was pretty kuch The End Of The World as she knew it. she threw such a hissy that my father turned down his promotion and we didn't go. he got made redundant the following year, a week before christmas.

do not give them a choice or an option. this is not a decision for children. make it light and a Good Thing and be excited at all the new opportunities. (my kids love to look on the computer to see what fab clubs there are, and to look at new schools and dance schools, swimming pools etc)

it's just moving. kids do it all the time.

<fwiw, dd1 is in her 7th school in yr7, ds1 and dd2 in their 3rd school in yr5 and 3 respectively. i don't count the moves we did before yr r, so that doesn't include nurseries. dd2 has cerebral palsy so that brings all sorts of associated moving issues, ds1 has no dx but some anxiety issues and other things, and is painfully shy for about the first two weeks then gets over it. dd1 is fine. grin we've moved about twenty thousand miles to and from overseas and all around the uk all told grin>

Gonzo33 Fri 07-Oct-11 11:45:41

I am in the same situation as madwomanintheattic and both my children quickly adapt to new situations, new schools and new places. In fact they probably adapt quicker than my husband and I do.

Just don't make a big deal out of it. Usually a "We're going to move here, want to help find clubs for you to go to with me?" works for my 10 year old. The younger one is 19mths so doesn't have a clue yet.

Dotty342kids Fri 07-Oct-11 11:52:33

Thanks guys. We were going to sit down and have "the talk" this weekend so you've made me rethink that idea!!
Will go for the more casual drop into conversation and see how that goes instead..............
Can I ask, do you think it's easier to move to conincide with the start of the school year or does it not make any difference in your experience?

madwomanintheattic Fri 07-Oct-11 15:48:23

i prefer to move in the summer hols just because my lot do lots of activities including competitive dance, so the competitions and shows are always easter-may, so moving them before that when they've worked hard all year round feels a bit mean! (so not an academic reason at all lol). that said, academics do come into it - we recently toyed with idea of moving in may after the last day of the dance show, but decided to leave them put until the end of the year (dh moved on may 1st and we stayed until school was out). dd1 had yr6 testing, and in the end both dd1 and ds1 got top student awards and a cheque each lol, so from a confidence and personal satisfaction pov it was good for them to stay. they also get to do all the really pointless year end parties at school/ guides/ cubs etc, so it's kind of nice to finish off properly and feels like 'closure'.

as far as schools go, they are obviously geared to accept new kids all year round. mid term mean they will be treated as 'newbies' and given friendship buddies etc and eased in, but personal experience indicates that if they start at the beginning of the school year, the 'new' status isn't really taken into account so much. they are more expected to blend in and get on with it, as everyone has a new teacher and timetable etc... pros and cons depending on your kids really. grin if they quite like being special wink then a mid year move is great!

yy, 'the talk' makes it really big bad and scary serious - def avoid that one! grin

madwomanintheattic Fri 07-Oct-11 15:51:00

and as you're going 'back home' you can genuinely talk about what a great place it is to grow up, share anecdotes about where you used to go/ what you used to do - a really nice way for your kids to hear a bit more about you, too. share that family history! have they visited the area a lot anyway - do you still have family there? cousins at school? any other links you can big up?

GnomeDePlume Fri 07-Oct-11 17:04:32

We have moved abroad an back again. IME be positive but dont keep going on about it. It isnt on the whole that interesting to the DCs.

Gonzo33 Sat 08-Oct-11 05:48:07

For the kids moving in the summer holidays or mid-term made no real difference to be honest.

Amaris Sat 08-Oct-11 07:00:20

I asked my DD how she would feel about moving, partly because the idea was just forming in my head, expecting her to say she didn't want to, but she was really excited. I'm not recommending asking them if you've made your mind up, but just to illustrate that you might get a response you don't expect! I took her to the new area on the first house search - by accident as my childcare broke down rather than by design - but I was glad that I did involve her and have done ever since. On that day I also took her to the local park, showed her the school and took her to the swimming pool on a fun session.

Since then she veers between being really excited and saying she doesn't want to move and getting upset. Actually, me too! We are just moving when we sell our house and buy another, coordinating it with the academic year seems a step that's too complicated for me! In a way I'd rather her leave her school one day and start another the next rather than having a summer holiday where a new school might be a big build up, but that's just us!

Melindaaa Sat 08-Oct-11 12:53:39

Our house is on the market and we will be moving about two hours away. The children are aware, aged 10, 8 and 4. They have been involved since the beginning - decluttering the house for the valuation and photos, checking the details on our house, looking up new houses on Rightmove etc.

If you discuss things with them casually rather than making it intonanyuge they will be fine.

Dotty342kids Sat 08-Oct-11 18:42:09

So, did casual drop into conversation today, as suggested. The result - hysterical crying, anger and flat refusal to leave where we currently live! So that went well. No amount of "there are great swimming / rugby / dance / etc clubs" calmed down the tears.
I'm not quite sure where to go from here.

nineyearoldsarerude Sat 08-Oct-11 19:49:27

I feel your pain! We have talked about moving for ages and my oldest (now 10) has been hysterical at times. Whenever he sees me looking at properties online he is very quick to point out how horrible they are! Not at the stage where we are READY to move but if we ever get there I hope the shock doesn't kill him!

BadRoly Sat 08-Oct-11 19:57:36

We moved 4.5hrs down the road 18mths ago to an area none of us knew having lived in the old house from the day before dc1 was born!

We told them what was happening at every stage and why. We took a weeks "holiday" to come house hunting with the children so that that they could see what we saw.

We planned to move during the Easter holidays but it ended up delayed by 2 weeks so we kept the kids off school and they just started a week into term at the new school.

We reassured them all the time that it was (and still is) ok to be sad and to miss people. Luckily we have moved somewhere that many of our friends are delighted to come and visit us so we still see a lot of the people that matter.

madwomanintheattic Sat 08-Oct-11 21:06:22

ach you just stick to your guns.

any change will be scary if they have never moved at all etc. they'll get used to it (particularly if you let them know you are going anyway - if they think they can get out of it by throwing a hissy they'll keep doing it.)

you just have to be very calm and explain that it is indeed happening. listen to their fears and their tantrums etc, and be very sympathetic (it is hard) but ultimately they need to know that the choice isn't theirs to make. it's your and dh's. they are children. and keep reiterating the cool stuff.

there are no guarantees that their best friends won't move next year anyway, of course!

sympathy, but stick with it! x

dh was army. we moved when we were told to. and we made it work. grin

Gonzo33 Sun 09-Oct-11 06:24:41

Totally agree with ^^ my dh still is, so we are still told where to go and when. They will get soon forget how they feel now when they are moved and making new friends.

I was also moved around substantially when I was young (Dad was Army) and I didn't suffer from it.

Dotty342kids Mon 24-Oct-11 13:55:25

I've now talked to them about it a few times and although we're still getting lots of tears they don't cry EVERY time. Am taking them to the area for a day trip this week and meeting an old friend and her three children for a park meet up and swimming trip in an effort to entice them (the swimming pool there is much better than our local one and they love swimming!)
Thanks for all your tips so far..

MackerelOfFact Mon 24-Oct-11 14:20:22

Hype up their new bedrooms and tell them they can have them decorated however they want. Take them to B&Q or somewhere (doesn't even matter that you've not found anywhere yet) and get them to pick out some colours they'd like.

We moved away when I was seven and this is what my parents did. I was completely unbothered by the move. In fact, the overriding memory I have was that I spotted a plastic prawn wedged in a small gap in the conservatory during the viewing and I was really excited at the prospect of them forgetting it was there so the plastic prawn would be MINE.

I am sad to report that the prawn was not there when we moved in. sad

But anyway, my point is that logic and long-term benefits won't really register with most DCs. Once they've seen where they'll live and they can imagine it I'm sure they'll be fine.

Dotty342kids Mon 24-Oct-11 14:27:17

I'm sorry to hear about the prawn, how disappointing wink. Yes, I'm hoping seeing some of the things "in the flesh" so to speak will help. And good idea about the bedrooms (though dread to think what my 8yr old son will come up with!)

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