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Best age to relocate children?

Best age to relocate children?

Old Feb 10th 2020, 4:16 pm
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Default Best age to relocate children?

My husband and I are seriously considering a move to New Zealand. We are English.

We have a 1 year old daughter (and hopefully another child soon 🤞🏻😬)

What age is a good age to move with children? I don’t want them to be old enough to be too upset at leaving friends and resent us for it! But at the same time I want her grandparents to have a few years with them too. And need to consider schooling as well 🤷🏼‍♀️

Any opinions welcome! If you have made the move with children did you time it well in terms of their age?
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 4:19 pm
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Default Re: Best age to relocate children?

Hi HFordy, welcome to BE.

It's a slippery slope once they start school - every year in a different education system, and every year that they make more friends, the tougher it gets ... less so in the early years, but still incrementally tougher every year.

Last edited by Pulaski; Feb 10th 2020 at 6:09 pm.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 7:18 pm
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Default Re: Best age to relocate children?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Hi HFordy, welcome to BE.

It's a slippery slope once they start school - every year in a different education system, and every year that they make more friends, the tougher it gets ... less so in the early years, but still incrementally tougher every year.
The younger the better. I did it with twins aged two and their brother aged 4. I totally agree with the comments above. Older kids do do it but it is just harder for them. NZ is a great place to raise kids. NZ is not without issues, like anywhere but probably the best thing I ever did for my kids. Others may argue it was not a good move for their kids. At the end of the day it is what you as the parents and the children make of it. But, you cannot get away from the fact that some folk love NZ others hate it. And I get that totally. Horses for courses.
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Old Feb 10th 2020, 9:57 pm
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Default Re: Best age to relocate children?

My girls were 10 and 7 the first time (in 2008), we were lucky as they just took to it like ducks to water and settled in school very well.
Due to personal circumstances we ended up back in Oz a couple of years later and they did not want to go back! Both have made friends they are still in contact with to this day and see whenever we used to visit.

Moved back by myself a year ago and 19 year old girl drove that move although she's finishing off some study in Oz , she'll be coming over after Christmas. It's up to her and I'm not fussed if she doesn't but she still likes NZ. I'm in Christchurch.

I think the younger the better as not everyone is as lucky as I was. Personally I love Nz and intended to retire here 😊


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Old Feb 11th 2020, 9:47 pm
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Default Re: Best age to relocate children?

Please do your research before relocating anywhere with children.

Understand there are legal implications regarding ‘habitual residence’ of a child and how quickly this can change, which means your children come under the new country’s legal jurisdiction. In NZ I think habitual residence changes in as little as 60 days.

This means if anything happens between you and your husband and one if you want to go home to the UK, you cannot just pick up the children and leave.

People do not know this stuff and it causes a lot of heartache as people get trapped or have to leave their children if the other parent will not let the children leave NZ.

Also research the Hague Convention regarding the ‘abduction of children’.

Before departing the UK for any destination, I advise consulting with a UK family lawyer and consider putting together a legally binding agreement as to what happens to your children if one of you isn’t happy and wants to return to the UK. Check international water tightness of any agreement with the lawyer.

www.globalarrk.org is an excellent resource for further info.

All the best with your decision making.
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Old Feb 13th 2020, 1:22 pm
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Default Re: Best age to relocate children?

Gearing up for a move this year with a 2 year old and (by then) 4 month old. We wanted to do it while the kids were young to make the move easier in terms of friends and school. Having said that, a colleague moved out last year with teenagers and they're all settling in brilliantly. I would imagine in between - primary school aged- would be hardest. It's tough with the grandparents though - I'm hoping regular video calls will take the edge off between visits.
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Old Yesterday, 2:28 am
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Default Re: Best age to relocate children?

Originally Posted by HFordy View Post
My husband and I are seriously considering a move to New Zealand. We are English.

We have a 1 year old daughter (and hopefully another child soon 🤞🏻😬)

What age is a good age to move with children? I don’t want them to be old enough to be too upset at leaving friends and resent us for it! But at the same time I want her grandparents to have a few years with them too. And need to consider schooling as well 🤷🏼‍♀️

Any opinions welcome! If you have made the move with children did you time it well in terms of their age?
We moved over with a 1 year old and apart from the journey being a nightmare with a young child the migration was a complete success. He's 9 now and pretty much as Kiwi as Kiwis can be. Don't think we could have done it at any better time.
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Old Today, 10:22 am
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Default Re: Best age to relocate children?

We moved in September with a 7 year old and a 10 year old. I think the optimum age if you want to wait for the grandparents to spend time with them would be 5/6.
The 7 year old has found it easier - he misses home and really misses his friends, but has been pretty gung ho about meeting new friends and is now a central character in his friendship group. My daughter has found it harder and has experienced bullying and a level of nastiness that has shocked me - I have read lots of similar accounts on here. We live in a very privileged area and the school is decile 10 (wealthy) and I actually think that level of privilege is relevant - at our poorer, south London school, the diversity, love and amazing pastoral care shines out. Less so here.
One thing to bear in mind is education itself. I knew it would be different and less academic, but after the pressure of SATS and the 11+ I didn't think this would be a bad thing, and I certainly never thought I would miss homework.... But I am genuinely worried. The general opinion (and I have spoken to a lot of parents, both kiwi and expat), is that they don't really do much academic work until they 13 when they start secondary school. And so far nothing has convinced me otherwise. My daughter is excelling at maths because, according to her, in year 6 they are doing 'year three maths' and school are trying to make my son print when he has been doing cursive writing since reception. Just a couple of examples, but I think it would make it hard to return to the UK.
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Old Today, 12:13 pm
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Default Re: Best age to relocate children?

Originally Posted by HFordy View Post
My husband and I are seriously considering a move to New Zealand. We are English.

We have a 1 year old daughter (and hopefully another child soon 🤞🏻😬)

What age is a good age to move with children? I don’t want them to be old enough to be too upset at leaving friends and resent us for it! But at the same time I want her grandparents to have a few years with them too. And need to consider schooling as well 🤷🏼‍♀️

Any opinions welcome! If you have made the move with children did you time it well in terms of their age?
Do you have a visa?

All of this is just daydreaming, if you do not have a viable visa pathway.

If you do, get it and go. Regulations can and do change frequently, and what is possible today may not be tomorrow.
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