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Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

Old Nov 8th 2011, 5:33 am
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Default Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

HELP!!!!

We arrived in Mid Sept and my daughter started school 2 weeks ago. We really hoped that it would help her become less unsettled but she is becoming a total nightmare!

This afternoon after school, we stayed and played with a girl who I thought my daughter had become really good buddies with. Well, basically my daughter started shouting and screaming in her face about how she hated this girl, didn't want to be friends, hates this country, wants to move back to England yada yada These yelling / screaming episodes occurred a couple of times over the hour or so that we played. I got my daughter to apologise to her and on the way home and I gave her a serious telling off on the way home and further discussed her behaviour with my husband and my daughter just now to try and explain no matter how bad her behaviour, we are not going back, she will just find she has no friends, people will think she is a bully etc... and that you just can NOT behave like that!

I know 8 yo girls can have a natural flair for melodrama but ever since we have come she has been desperate to go back, misses everyone back in the UK really badly, packs up her cases and demands to be taken to the airport etc...

What can we do to help? Are we being too harsh? Not harsh enough? Parenting tips and settling in tips all welcome!!!

Thanks

Natalie
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Old Nov 8th 2011, 5:40 am
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Default Re: Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

I,m not a great expert with kids but have you tried the bribery route, Pony rides, new barbie doll, whatever she,s in to ? I know you are supposed to be firm with them but sod it she,s only 8 so i would give it a go


Neil
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Old Nov 8th 2011, 5:52 am
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Default Re: Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

blimey - I feel for you it sounds like you've got an 8 going on 18 year old.

Our eldest was the same age when we arrived - we indulged her and immersed her in sports to keep her constantly busy with different groups of friends at the different activities, she was probably doing something different almost every day of the week - costly and very indulgent but it worked. We also tried to make the whole moving thing "just an adventure" that was not permanent and something we could turn our backs on at any point if we so wanted - this way she knew that it was not a 'forever' that there was no way out of, so therefore the emigrating conversation was always 'insignificant' (if that makes sense) rather than a show-stopping argument platform.

I notice you're in Titirangi - possibly not the most social area as children can't really walk on there own anywhere - they're totally reliant on you driving them around the Waitakeres .... summers here though perhaps try and get her involved in some summer sports - Piha lifesaving club? Summer soccer, athletics etc?

Good luck.
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Old Nov 8th 2011, 5:54 am
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Default Re: Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

My kids have done a fair amount of moving around in their time, as have some of their mates, and I've learned that each child reacts differently.

If one of mine were acting up in this way I'd try to look beyond the immediate bad behaviour (hard, I know) and encourage them to talk about what triggered it and what else is going on in their life, it's rarely just one thing.

There may be other things besides the obvious that have upset her - perhaps she's been teased about her accent, or someone has told her that's not how things are done in New Zealand, or she's just incredibly homesick. Something has obviously acted as the last straw for her and she's erupted in anger, and possibly grief. Which is not such a bad thing, the last thing you want is her bottling it up and it manifesting itself when she's older.

It may help if she knew others in the family were having the same problems as she does and perhaps they could talk to her about how they're dealing with them?

Having some friends around for a sleep over may be a good idea, it will give her a chance to relax with them on safe territory and have some fun.

Last edited by Expat Kiwi; Nov 8th 2011 at 5:57 am.
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Old Nov 8th 2011, 5:57 am
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Default Re: Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

Thanks for your replies.

We don't have a car! We won't be getting one for a while due to finances but definitely if we had one she would be doing a whole bunch of stuff. That was part of the reason we stayed behind school. We have stayed behind with this girl a couple of times (and her mum who I also apologised to for my daughter's behaviour) to try and build up relationships.

Arrgghhh!
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Old Nov 8th 2011, 6:29 am
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Default Re: Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

Originally Posted by Jan n Neil View Post
I,m not a great expert with kids but have you tried the bribery route, Pony rides, new barbie doll, whatever she,s in to ? I know you are supposed to be firm with them but sod it she,s only 8 so i would give it a go


Neil
NOOOOOO !!!!!

Never ever use bribery with kids EVER !!!
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Old Nov 8th 2011, 6:42 am
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Default Re: Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

Give her a huge hug, tell her how much you love her, tell her the reasons for moving to NZ, engage in positive dialogue - tell her how proud you are of her for trying etc etc.

Try and get her to picture herself happy in NZ. Try to create a home in her mind, these things can be quite subliminal. I remember going to a course on House selling (previous life) and watching a video - as the guy showing the people round the house moved from room to room, he touched something, anything, and the people echoed him. He then said to them things like - 'you could put your television here' etc. All designed to create that mental picture for themselves of being there.

What is her room like? Could you redecorate it, with her consultation - make it 'hers'. Another good ploy is to get a pet - all of a sudden, she has a responsibility for something else, another life to take care of.

There are no easy answers, and it must be heartbreaking for you.
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Old Nov 8th 2011, 6:48 am
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Default Re: Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

Yeah, kids vary quite a bit with how they cope with change. My brother has never forgiven my father for moving the family from the North Shore to South Auckland when he was 7 (he's 46 now!! LOL) ! Didn't bother me at all. I think it might have been better if dad hadn't just dismissed my brother's concerns and expected him to just get over it. Talking to her is essential, and I agree that there may be other stuff going on at school. Kids of that age are very conforming so being different (e.g. accent) can feel uncomfortable, and some kids may be being mean. Maybe have an informal chat with someone at the school to see if there is anything going on.

Getting her involved in activities outside of school where she can make other friends might help.

Also, give it time. She will come round once she has a best friend and feels she is fitting in more. Hard I know.
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Old Nov 8th 2011, 7:25 am
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Default Re: Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

Originally Posted by GoingIn2011 View Post
HELP!!!!

I We arrived in Mid Sept and my daughter started school 2 weeks ago. We really hoped that it would help her become less unsettled but she is becoming a total nightmare!

This afternoon after school, we stayed and played with a girl who I thought my daughter had become really good buddies with. Well, basically my daughter started shouting and screaming in her face about how she hated this girl, didn't want to be friends, hates this country, wants to move back to England yada yada These yelling / screaming episodes occurred a couple of times over the hour or so that we played. I got my daughter to apologise to her and on the way home and I gave her a serious telling off on the way home and further discussed her behaviour with my husband and my daughter just now to try and explain no matter how bad her behaviour, we are not going back, she will just find she has no friends, people will think she is a bully etc... and that you just can NOT behave like that!

I know 8 yo girls can have a natural flair for melodrama but ever since we have come she has been desperate to go back, misses everyone back in the UK really badly, packs up her cases and demands to be taken to the airport etc...

What can we do to help? Are we being too harsh? Not harsh enough? Parenting tips and settling in tips all welcome!!!

Thanks

Natalie
we have an 11 year old and return to the Uk after a year here. The main reason is our daughter is terribly unhappy.She has made no real friends and has gone from a happy sunny child to an insular unhappy kid.her school work has suffered and has slipped from an A,B student to mid range.IMO the school system here is not anywhere near as good as we can offer her in the UK. She says she feels like a purple fruit in a bowl of oranges. She has suffered racist comments.We have tried inviting kids for tea or to play and they are either "busy" or just say no. Our daughter was a popular happy child in a village school in the UK and this experience has been awful for her.We have spoken to other Immigrant parents not just English..similar stories even worse with older children...IMO she was already too old to come here and adapt and just wants to be back in the UK with her at the school she would have gone to.Along with other reasons..we are going home.I wish you the best of luck I fear you may need it..Yes people will say this comment is not helpful but it is our experience.
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Old Nov 8th 2011, 7:50 am
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Default Re: Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

Originally Posted by GoingIn2011 View Post
Thanks for your replies.

We don't have a car! We won't be getting one for a while due to finances but definitely if we had one she would be doing a whole bunch of stuff. That was part of the reason we stayed behind school. We have stayed behind with this girl a couple of times (and her mum who I also apologised to for my daughter's behaviour) to try and build up relationships.

Arrgghhh!
In my personal opinion, if you are renting I would look at the options to move to a different area of Auckland. I know it will be upheaval, but I think that Titirangi is sufficiently far enough on the periphery that without a car it wouldn't take long to get cabin fever for any of you.

Sure the place has a nice vibe to it, but if you aren't surrounded by life and places to walk to etc, then you are on a hiding to nothing. It is also not worth getting yourself into debt over by buying a car.

Was there any other reason for basing yourselves there without a car?
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Old Nov 8th 2011, 8:03 am
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Default Re: Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

Originally Posted by GoingIn2011 View Post
HELP!!!!

We arrived in Mid Sept and my daughter started school 2 weeks ago. We really hoped that it would help her become less unsettled but she is becoming a total nightmare!

This afternoon after school, we stayed and played with a girl who I thought my daughter had become really good buddies with. Well, basically my daughter started shouting and screaming in her face about how she hated this girl, didn't want to be friends, hates this country, wants to move back to England yada yada These yelling / screaming episodes occurred a couple of times over the hour or so that we played. I got my daughter to apologise to her and on the way home and I gave her a serious telling off on the way home and further discussed her behaviour with my husband and my daughter just now to try and explain no matter how bad her behaviour, we are not going back, she will just find she has no friends, people will think she is a bully etc... and that you just can NOT behave like that!

I know 8 yo girls can have a natural flair for melodrama but ever since we have come she has been desperate to go back, misses everyone back in the UK really badly, packs up her cases and demands to be taken to the airport etc...

What can we do to help? Are we being too harsh? Not harsh enough? Parenting tips and settling in tips all welcome!!!

Thanks

Natalie
Hi Natalie,

Gosh it's tough when kids play up - trust me I have 4!

Mine were 14, 12, 8 and 4 when we moved, I think! It was actually probably my eldest that struggled the most to settle in and make friends. We've now been here 4.5 years and she has friends still that she met in her first couple of weeks at school. But it took time, several months. I think you need to give her longer. I guess the real turning point for my eldest was about 4 months after moving here it was her birthday and so we let her throw a big party at home and invite whoever she wanted to invite and that really helped. You daughter only started school 2 weeks ago, she's still finding her feet, she's started in term 4 when friendships have already been formed, it is going to be hard for her, bless her.

You were absolutely right in my opinion to tell her that her behaviour today was completely unacceptable. I would even have gone as far as to show some consequence for her actions, bed with no TV, whatever would work. She is yanking your chain and she is only 8. If you let her get away with this now, Lord help you in a year or two.

Fair but firm. Give her time. Involve her in some activities as others have suggested, but take it slow, don't inundate her with stuff, she is already having problems adjusting to the change.

I remember my eldest kicking off about moving to NZ and my Father saying to me "You are running a family, not a democracy" they will do what you think is best for them as you are the adult, but you must make them.

Good luck, you have my sympathies.
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Old Nov 8th 2011, 8:15 am
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Default Re: Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

Hi Natalie
Our daughter is also 8 and we just arrived a couple of weeks ago. She is in school along with her 5 year old brother who seems completely fine. We have had some serious mood swings and fits of crying but are just trying to take it one day at a time. We really feel for you! but just give it a little more time. Stay positive and maybe NZ will offer the life you dreamed of!

Ali and Mark (just arrived in Auckland)
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Old Nov 8th 2011, 8:32 am
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Default Re: Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

Is she an only child? Sometimes it's really hard for them as they are doing it on their own with no one around who gets it.

Thankfully Titirangi is awash with expats so she'll soon come to realise that there are others about too.
It is so hard without a car though. Especially where you are and it's so freaking hilly that biking can seem such drag.

Do you have to live there? Or are you planning on a car? At least they aren't really too much to run here and insurance is cheap. I know that you are planning to save but being mobile will make life so much easier.

Now - cool thin going on in your locale soon is the advent fair at the Steiner school in Titirangi. Steiner school advent fairI love it and my daughter adores it (she is now 10)
They have a cool kids market and the fairy queen grants wishes - its so magical
Make a date with one of the mums locally and get them to drive you down the hill! It's on the 20th November and normally I would meet you there with my girl but I'm away that weekend (and kicking myself for it!)
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Old Nov 8th 2011, 8:36 am
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Default Re: Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

Thank you again for your replies I was at my wits end this evening.

We are planning on getting a car but can't afford it yet. We didn't want to move in somewhere only to have to move again so we chose to live somewhere within walking distance of everything we need (school, train station, supermarkets, kids groups for me and the little one). We are going to get a car next year when our finances have calmed down a bit but money is a bit tight at the moment.

I also have a 5yo boy who has settled into school like a duck to water and a nearly 2 year old who would be fine anywhere right now. I am making friends in the community here and my son is making friends too. I couldn't move him now or he would also lose the plot.

Going back to our old life in the UK will never happen. There is no work for my husband there or for me. There are no spaces in their school etc... Our only option is to go back to the M4 corridor or Scotland. Miles from Bristol where we used to live. Going back is not an option, even in 3 years time when my husband's contract runs out so this emigration lark has GOT to work. We need to make it work. We both gave up our jobs and they are not recruiting. anyway, we are both happy, the rest of us are happy apart from our daughter

I like that point about joining in term 4 and friendships being made already, I hadn't considered that. All the classes get switched about at the end of this academic year so maybe the new year will bring a fresh start. It is interesting what you said about your daughter's party Am loolah, it was our daughter's 8th birthday 3 weeks ago and she only got 1 card from my parents, no gifts from anyone, she didn't even get a cake until late on because we didn't have any weighing scales to measure the ingredients until 8pm when Andy got home from work. She sobbed about that the next day. Said it was the rubbish birthday ever. In fairness, it did totally suck. I told her to make some friends and as soon as that happened, we would throw her a birthday party.

Ok, so give her more time, more activities, be sympathetic but no nonsense, throw a party when she has some friends and hope in the new year she will form some new friendships.
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Old Nov 8th 2011, 8:41 am
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Default Re: Advice desperately needed! 8 yo daughter no settling at all!

Ok, thanks Pricklykina, I will look into that for sure. Sounds like something she would really enjoy.

She does have siblings and they are happy and settling in nicely.

Natalie
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