Moving out of London with older kids - are we mad?(30 Posts)
We are seriously thinking of moving from a nice suburb of London full of families to a large market town which is still only an hour or less from London on train - we will get larger house, bigger garden etc and town has everything we need except cinema. My DCs are 12,10 and 7, I worry that we have left it too late to move and that will they hate me when they are a bit older for dragging them away from the bright lights - am I mad? At the moment they like the area of London that we live in but not London per se.
write pros and cons.
do they want their own big room etc -at the cost of a small town and small town life?
where will they go on evenings out on their own if there is no cinema?
will you be happy for them to go off on train/bus to cinema?
At what age would you let them hop on train by themselves to go back & visit Big smoke?
DD is 13 & her friends are that I let her hop on the train by herself to go visit our local Little Bad City. I always meant to move back to LBC when my eldest started secondary, but it's the DC who firmly want to stay in the little market town!!!
thanks for replies - to be fair, the DC are quite keen to move (except for missing friends) but at their age, they can't envisage how it will be either in London or the new town when they are older. The town has train links to not so naice town which has cinema and types of shops that teens like and I would be happy for my DC to hop on train with firends from about 13 - DS who is 12 goes on tube now.
It's just I am always reading posts on MN where posters complain that their parents moved them to small town/village and they hated being there as teenagers - i am not from London but am struggling to imagine life outside London, I think I for one definitely need to move!
We moved, out of the whole UK with older children, they loved it. We were living in London, they didn't mind it, I was sick of it by the age of 5 (grew up there), only returned to living there in a moment of madness. Thankfully came to my senses in time . No two people will ever have the same experience. You'll just have to talk a lot about it and take the plunge if you feel it's long term best for you all.
There is life (and bright lights) outside of London you know! I'm sure that once they get used to their new life, and make some new friends, they'll be fine. Kids are pretty adaptable.
If you were moving to glorious rural isolation then I would say yeah, you're probably mad . But a large market town sounds good to me: they will be able to get around independently in their teens, have places to go with their friends etc.
I would say at 12 you can just about do it.
By the time they are 14 they will probably never forgive you.
There will be things they miss and you miss but equally there will be new things you like.
I did this and have had to move back. My teenagers hated it. Daughter 17, Son 11. when I moved. What did they dislike - lack of things to do that they were used to, lack of diversity in people, casual homophobia and racism, poor transport and none after 8.00pm. Had to learn to drive and very expensive for my daughter to run a car. In addition, lack of choice at GCSE and A level in local schools. Difficult for girls if not 'girly' or 'horsey'. Difficult for boys if not sporty.
We gave it 3 years and then moved back.
I think this is a parents' decision- too much responsibility to put on younger kids ( 10 and 7) to expect them to be objective.
Kids will adapt to most places as long as they have friends and a loving family. Most of the population doesn't live in London or in a city yet they manage to have fun.
I moved my (then) 8 year old from Hackney to Cambridge a year ago. We haven't looked back. He's a lot happier and calmer and I feel a lot better about his safety. I feel that I will be able to rest relatively easy when he's a teenager and going out in the evening with friends. That said, Cambridge is quite metropolitan in many ways so it isn't really like a market town. Also we have family here.
Go for it! Generally you'll have a much better quality of life outside of London. If you can choose Cambridge, that'll be an extra bonus
My mum would actually see this as child abuse. She firmly believes that moving out of the city leads to mental breakdown as surely as night follows day (she did once have a breakdown while briefly living in a coastal town; funnily enough she was having a very shitty life at the time, but it's the poor coastal town that cops the blame).
When I moved my kids from zone 1 to zone 6 she was HORRIFIED.
I think your dc are probably young enough that they won't know what yhey are missing, and will make new friends etc. It would be much harder to move older teenagers who are enjoying London Life.
Thirtyseven I don't like to tell you, but having teens on the loose in the evenings in Cambridge isnt idyllic, especially when they get into LolaLo's with fake id and drink themselves stupid and then throw up over the bedroom carpet <eyes up ds2 bitterly>
We moved to Home Counties when DD was 6. She was not bothered by it either way. We parents were not convinced & kept thinking of moving back..even looked up schools etc. but didnt actually make the move. Then fell pregnant with DC2 and overnight all our decisions became clear. No way did we want to move back with 2 children. We were so much more at peace & surrounded by children's activities & families & green surroundings. Decided to buy & stay put. Best decision we could've made.
I grew up in Central London and couldn't wait to move out! It's a myth that all teens want brights lights and big city. I was the last year of university grants and I was outta there pretty much as soon as I got my A levels.
UsedToBeAPaxmanFan - in my day it was Ronelles disco and drinking yourself silly on Grantchester Meadows! Haha. Kids will always be kids. But better that than getting on a tube and ending up in a crack den in Ealing with a knife at your throat... Call me paranoid, but knowing my boy I think that would have been a distinct possibility
Tbh London as a family is only nice if you can afford a generous family home with a garden in a safe area with good transport links. This is only my opinion, others will strongly disagree, everyone is different. Otherwise, I'm not sure the bright lights and big city (much as I love it) make up for everything else you have to sacrifice in terms of quality of life and disposable income.
If you have a nice home in London, I'd advise you to keep it.
My eldest dc was 8 when we moved out of London, all has been absolutely great. Would highly recommend it.
My sister and I moved continents when we were 8 and 12. One hour is nothing! And we loved it. Saw it as a logistical upheaval and of course some adjustment (our accents had to change and everything). But mainly saw it as an adventure.
The poster whose daughter was 17 does not have a comparable experience.
At 12 my sister was just starting out in secondary school, she was fine. At 7 and 10 you're still incredibly malleable.
Don't worry about it!
We gave it 4 years, and moved back. Being away for a bit was great for the dc. They were 5, 7 and 9 when we moved away. They are now 11,13 and 15, and the only regrets we have about having done it are financial. Being out of the london property market for that long cost us our financial cushion. Not s single regret otherwise.
I guess you're at the age where you can start to think about university. We're in London and it's nice to know that my DC will have a lot of living at home tertiary options if they so choose.
Presumably you are movig to a bit of the market town where they can easily access public transport?
Not to a village 5 miles out of the town so they'd be reliant on you to be driven everywhere?
Is your user name a clue to the area you are considering moving to?
I have family in the area and for them it's the best of both worlds - there is enough to do in the local area. However they are still within easy striking distance of london and regularly visit.
I am not sure how the bright lights of the smoke relate to teenagers...? They can't go to bars and clubs and by the time that they can they will be off to uni....my older teenagers go into London for daytime stuff skateboarding, events, markets, shopping etc from our village - the younger ones are happier to hang out at shopping/cinema complex in local town.
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