We are emmigrating to Australia in about 5 months time, so we are starting to really crack on and get things sorted in the home
Rowan (5) is very self centred (I don’t mean that in a horrible way, but he is happy as long as he is around his stuff and us), Reuben (4) is very caring and loves his friends and family.
We know it will be hard for both of them, but Reuben is starting to show signs that he may find it tougher than we thought. It was his birthday on the weekend and he had a lovely party with his two best friends from pre school. The following day someone pointed out to him that his next birthday would be in Aus and he broke down completley, he shouted that he never wants to go back to school because he doesn’t want to see his friends again . After a little chat we discovered that he is a bit anxious about the move and he is worried that he will miss his friends a lot.
I know that he knows no other life than his life here in this house with these friends and his family nearby, so he has no idea what moving actually means.
Has anyone made a big move with children (even a move from one county to another would be big to a 4 year old)? Does anyone have any tips on helping him deal with it? Not so much the actual move, but the build up. Things are all turned upside down here at the mo, as we have just started going though every room with a fine tooth comb.
My kids were born in spain and when they were almost 3yrs and almost 1yr. we left t spend 6 weeks in belgium and 1 week in uk then 1 week in malaysia then 1 yr travelling around aus then a couple of months in asia, back to uk for a week and then to belgium to settle down.
So actually looking at it we’ve had a bit of practice moving around. When we started The whole idea, I made a book (never actually finished it…bad mummy) with drawings and pictures and simple sentences. Something like page 1 a picture of us selling some of our stuff and thinking about the new bikes they would get in australia, then us with our bags, another page us on a plane etc etc. We looked at pictures of where we were going, who we were going to see, what animals we would see. We were just really positive and very excited so it rubbed of on the kids.
We got them involved in selling our stuff/there stuff etc before we went, put stuff in ‘‘safe’’ boxes for things that were important to them and other things we wanted to take with us.
Where are you going exactly, if you want you can have a look at our website, might help the kids seeing other kids in the same place they are going to, sliding down sand dunes, paddling in the sea, with kangeroos, feeding baby goats etc let me know and i’ll pm you a password.
We are moving to the Sunshine coast, we are also hoping to have a week in Malaysia en route. I love all your ideas wandermob, looking at your website would be great and I also love the book idea.
They are both already helping out with the sorting, but that, I find, is a double edged sword, as when he gets upset he just gets all his favourite teddies and throws them, rather dramatically, into the for sale pile!
I know they are good travellers, as we have travelled for extended periods of time in India and Morocco with them and they both love change and different things. As I said, its not the actual move that I think will be the problem its the build up.
I would love to have a look at your pictures though, thanks x
i’ll pm you tomorrow, i always found that when they got stroppy, put it all in the keep pile and have several rounds of going through stuff when kids are in better moods, I understand fully how they feel as my DH would always say ‘’ do you really need that’ and i’d get annoyed as i had already put it in the keep pile and then i’d have a hissy fit’‘no, i don’t need it, FINE’ haha he was right though.
You’ll have to send me your email address so i can subscribe you. http://www.wandermob.com i’ll send you the password tomorrow so you can log in
We did a small move last year, only 20 miles, but my ds (who was almost 3 then) has found it quite hard and often tells me that he wants to go back to our old house and says how much he loved it. We had a photo day before we left where a friend (who happens to be an incredible professional photographer, lucky us!) spent the full day taking pictures of us and the house and he put them into a slide show with music. Ds LOVES to watch it and often sings the backing tracks, saying they are the ‘old house songs’. He talks a lot about it, and I often find I’m trying to oversell our new house to compensate. I loved our old house too, it was really hard for me to leave it and I think that ds picked up on that a lot. I love our new area more, though, but as a child that’s hard to see I guess. It’ll be much more evident in your case!
Does reading books about moving help? What about finding a penpal in the area you’re moving too, if he’s worried about friendships? Are there any local websites or even a local group or Tourist Info place you could contact? Then he’d have a friend to think about visiting when you’ve moved…
We’ve moved twice in dd1 and dd2’s lifetimes. Once from norfolk to north wales when dd1 was 22 months and dd1 was 7months, then again a year later to a different part of north wales. Dd2 generally takes everything in her stride and jumps right into anything, and has been fine with the build up to the moves (well at 7 months she didn’t even notice) and the moves themselves, but dd1 is much more sensitive, and she definitely needed me more round those times for reassurance and I think when all our stuff actually got packed up into boxes she found it very worrying. I guess it can be a lot for a little one to take in and understand - all the upheaval, when they are used to a set rhythm - maybe you could make sorting out for the move part of your daily rhythm, doing a little bit a day? We dealt with it by involving dd1 in the move process as much as possible and talking about it lots, reading stories about moving house (sorry can’t remember which ones, we just went to the library) and making lots of time for her to talk to us or just be with us, and reassuring her that we would all still be here. With both our moves I guess in a way we were lucky that dd1 had no really big attachments to any friends - her best friend is dd2 at the moment But I think the thing that helped them all settle was that we emphasised we were all still going to be together as a family. Maybe you can help your ds2 realise he can stay friends even if he doesn’t live in the same country - would his best friends like to be pen pals maybe? We are just about to embark on the 3rd move since having children, to Derbyshire, as dh has a new job, and I’m a bit worried about how they will take it this time with them both being that bit older and more aware of everything, so will be watching the other replies to this thread with interest.
It can be hard…...Last year we moved to the middle east, and although we have familiar people here it was very tough initially for the children. they mostly miss our house and their things, and they had to start school for the first time after always being home educated in the UK. I made it a point of bringing quite a lot of their favourite things such as toys and books, although in honesty I could have used the extra luggage in a more practical way. They are fairly settled now, although we are returning in the summer (we wanted to keep our house for a year just in case) and they are thrilled to be going back, dd1 says she can’t wait to get back to her bunk beds, lol.
For sensitive children I would give them an extra allowance on what can be brought with them, and do plenty of talking about recognition that you appreciate that this move will be hard etc etc. Perhaps allowing him to take pictures himself of things and people he holds dear and then getting them turned into a photobook to take along?
Hi fourinthebed, I was thinking of posting a similar thread, so will be watching with interest. We moved from the uk to Ireland when the kids were 2 (DD) and 1 (DS), looking back I think my anxiety rubbed off on DD & also the packing was stressfull as I did it alone, plus I think I just did too many ‘goodbyes’! It was all very emotional and she picked up on it.
We are now 4 years almost down the line and are moving back to the uk in about 6 weeks time i think…..my DD is fine, she is mostly excited. My DS is being v difficult atm, he is a real home body and he is v attached to his belongs and his little routines. He has always been a bit OCD about things but recently it has got v extreme. He refuses to leave DD even for a second, where she goes, he goes. He has morphed himself into her almost, copies her every move, sometimes what she says & wears. It is pretty odd! Tbh I was getting a bit concerned about him, but I think its about the moving. He feels safe as long as DD is with him I think. Im just going with the flow and trying to be patient (even though he is driving me up the wall at times!). I like wandermobs idea of a picture book, I think DS would like that. I have a visual calander which I made, a kind of countdown, so the kids can see exactly what we’re doing and how long untill we move. I try just to keep them focused on the week we’re on, and the things we need to do that week rather than keep looking ahead.
Thanks for all your replies, some great ideas and things to think about.
I have realised that even though we thought we were involving them in everything, we actually were doing it ourselves and just telling them. So today I cleared a big space in the spare room and put in 2 boxes, one for getting rid of and the other for keeping. I explained these boxes to Reuben, not expecting him to do anything right away, but then I went to see what he was up to and he was happily putting things into the boxes.