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Telling the kids about our move

Telling the kids about our move

Old Feb 9th 2012, 9:09 am
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Default Telling the kids about our move

Our kids (eldest is 11) still don't know about our move to the U.S. this summer, we have been holding off telling them until the spring. We plan to tell them soon and I was wondering if any of you have any advice based on your experience of moving with children? How did yours react on hearing the news? Any good coping strategies you'd like to share?
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 11:16 am
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Default Re: Telling the kids about our move

Originally Posted by Ruthie_S View Post
Our kids (eldest is 11) still don't know about our move to the U.S. this summer, we have been holding off telling them until the spring. We plan to tell them soon and I was wondering if any of you have any advice based on your experience of moving with children? How did yours react on hearing the news? Any good coping strategies you'd like to share?
My daughter was 11 when we moved to the US. I 'bigged' living in the US up to her...so she was looking forward to the move rather than dreading it. We knew the area anyway...but spent 2 weeks here a couple of months before we moved. During that time she spent a couple of days at her new school and met her fellow classmates. We moved during June and she was invited to several summer parties by her new school friends.

Fortunately no one in the family gave us a hard time about moving...so it was all very positive. The weekend before we left we visited close family to say goodbye. We didn't want a fuss or tearful goodbyes at the airport.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 11:22 am
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Default Re: Telling the kids about our move

Thanks Jerseygirl, that's really useful. Although my husband I are planning to make a couple of househunting trips before we move in July, I don't think we'll be able to bring the kids too. Which aspects of U.S. life did you emphasise when "bigging" it up for your daughter?
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 11:26 am
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Default Re: Telling the kids about our move

Originally Posted by Ruthie_S View Post
Thanks Jerseygirl, that's really useful. Although my husband I are planning to make a couple of househunting trips before we move in July, I don't think we'll be able to bring the kids too. Which aspects of U.S. life did you emphasise when "bigging" it up for your daughter?
The whole thing really...what a great experience it would be. How her friends would love to come to visit during the school holidays...that she would be making new friends. We had spent a lot of time in this area and in other areas of the US...so we thought we had a pretty good idea what life would be like. What a shock we had...living here is nothing like visiting.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 1:50 pm
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Default Re: Telling the kids about our move

Hello Ruthie

We moved here last year when our daughter was nine. All the stuff that Jerseygirl did we did too, all the bigging it up stuff etc... We didnt actually tell her until all the job/visas etc.. were final, but we let out some big hints about living here as we'd previously been near here on holiday and visited friends. We tested out her feelings first before we launched headlong into telling her about daddy's new job. Then once we knew she was ok (ish) about the move we put the For Sale board up outside the house, we'd been holding off until we told her definitely.

We came on a house hunting trip and did bring her, we weren't sure whether to or not but decided to and it was a huge success. We all looked at houses on the internet first, thought about what we'd all like in a house, narrowed the search down to a few together and viewed them on our visit. She felt secure in the fact that she was having a part in chosing a house/her bedroom etc... with us and she was included in our move. I guess it helped to give her a little bit of control over what else in her life was totally out of her control at the time. We visited her school (we knew which one it would be as we had chosen a house in the catchment for that school) but it was shut for summer reccess so we took photos and wandered around the grounds, peering through the windows (which were mirrored so we couldnt see a thing, we were probably on the cctv too, lol)

Basically we involved her in most stuff, even going to the US embassy together. This strategy worked for us, it made us closer and it was like an adventure we were all in together.

Good luck and best wishes in your move. Victoria
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 2:12 pm
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Default Re: Telling the kids about our move

Our situation was slightly different as I am American, so the kids had been to the US to visit and knew the area we were going to move to (didn't actually end up there, but that is another story!).

We talked with them both (aged 10 and 5 when we moved) from the very beginning of thinking about moving and tried hard to include them in every decision where we could. They were both reasonably okay about the move and looked forward to lots of American things. (like riding the school bus!)

Having said that, the move was VERY hard on all of us, especially the 10 year old. The schools felt completely different, he felt really isolated and missed his old friends and everyone here made fun of his accent! I'm not sure if where you are going has a higher immigrant population, but here there simply aren't many...a lot of the kids in his school have parents that went to the same schools...that sort of thing...

It did get better...but it took some hard work...we had to push him to join clubs and do activities and make friends...but he is reasonably well settled now and he knows he has had some amazing opportunities that he never would have had when we were in the UK, so it has been worth it.

The little one settled in much more easily. Figuring out which grades to put them in at school was part of the equation...and we made different choices for each child...but that is another story as well!

Good luck to you and your family!
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 2:23 pm
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Default Re: Telling the kids about our move

Originally Posted by USIOMUS View Post
Our situation was slightly different as I am American, so the kids had been to the US to visit and knew the area we were going to move to (didn't actually end up there, but that is another story!).

We talked with them both (aged 10 and 5 when we moved) from the very beginning of thinking about moving and tried hard to include them in every decision where we could. They were both reasonably okay about the move and looked forward to lots of American things. (like riding the school bus!)

Having said that, the move was VERY hard on all of us, especially the 10 year old. The schools felt completely different, he felt really isolated and missed his old friends and everyone here made fun of his accent! I'm not sure if where you are going has a higher immigrant population, but here there simply aren't many...a lot of the kids in his school have parents that went to the same schools...that sort of thing...

It did get better...but it took some hard work...we had to push him to join clubs and do activities and make friends...but he is reasonably well settled now and he knows he has had some amazing opportunities that he never would have had when we were in the UK, so it has been worth it.

The little one settled in much more easily. Figuring out which grades to put them in at school was part of the equation...and we made different choices for each child...but that is another story as well!

Good luck to you and your family!
I'm sorry and surprised to hear the kids mocked your son's accent.

We live (in what sounds like) a very similar place, nobody mocked my boys...they were rather enamored actually.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 2:31 pm
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Default Re: Telling the kids about our move

I should have said that the girls and the teachers were enamored, but the other boys teased! And at 10, he wasn't too excited about the girls reactions! ;-)

We started in Pennsylvania and for the most part he was well treated there, but when we moved to Western New York he started getting teased.

He still gets a bit of teasing now and then (over 3 years later) but it has gotten much more friendly in nature. And he now knows which kids are just mean to everyone and ignores them! (I did suggest to him that at least if they were teasing him about his accent, at least they weren't teasing him about something else!)

He is a pretty level headed kid and has learned to take it in his stride, but the first months were hard going.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 2:55 pm
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Default Re: Telling the kids about our move

Originally Posted by USIOMUS View Post
I should have said that the girls and the teachers were enamored, but the other boys teased! And at 10, he wasn't too excited about the girls reactions! ;-)

We started in Pennsylvania and for the most part he was well treated there, but when we moved to Western New York he started getting teased.

He still gets a bit of teasing now and then (over 3 years later) but it has gotten much more friendly in nature. And he now knows which kids are just mean to everyone and ignores them! (I did suggest to him that at least if they were teasing him about his accent, at least they weren't teasing him about something else!)

He is a pretty level headed kid and has learned to take it in his stride, but the first months were hard going.
It hard isn't it

Nearly 7 years later my boys still don't sound American and they are still seen as the English kids.We are going home soon (uk) and I know they will be known as Americans...

My DD (on the other hand) (3) has an almost totally American accent, we love it and will encourage her to keep it, for as long as possible...
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 3:41 pm
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Default Re: Telling the kids about our move

Originally Posted by USIOMUS View Post
We started in Pennsylvania and for the most part he was well treated there, but when we moved to Western New York he started getting teased.
I moved from Long Island to Rochester (western NY) when I was in second grade...the kids in WNY definitely like to make fun of accents! I can't count the number of times kids requested I say words like "drawer" and "orange". Fortunately as I was only 7 my accent was still malleable and I soon lost it. (The farther a kid is from reaching puberty the more likely that their accent will change to their new surroundings, and after puberty it rarely changes fully.)

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Old Feb 9th 2012, 3:45 pm
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Default Re: Telling the kids about our move

Originally Posted by avanutria View Post
I moved from Long Island to Rochester (western NY) when I was in second grade...the kids in WNY definitely like to make fun of accents! I can't count the number of times kids requested I say words like "drawer" and "orange". Fortunately as I was only 7 my accent was still malleable and I soon lost it. (The farther a kid is from puberty the more likely that their accent will change to their new surroundings, and after puberty it rarely changes fully.)
Someone told me the age was 11. My daughter was 11 when we moved and it took her years to pick up a little of the American accent. Now her accent moves from British to US to Canadian...depending who she's talking to.

AFAIK my daughter's accent wasn't the subject of mockery...the kids all thought it was pretty cool and the boys loved it.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: Telling the kids about our move

Interesting what everyone is saying about children making fun of the British accent. We are living in Albany, NY and our daughter is frequently mocked about her accent, she hates it and finds it hard to laugh at this. Like USIOMUS said the adults and girls love it, and the boys hate it. Perhaps it is a NY thing.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 4:58 pm
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Default Re: Telling the kids about our move

Originally Posted by VJW View Post
Perhaps it is a NY thing.
It's an ignorance thing. Fortunately, ignorance can be cured... but it takes time!

Ian
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 5:03 pm
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Default Re: Telling the kids about our move

Originally Posted by Gabgoeshome View Post
It hard isn't it

Nearly 7 years later my boys still don't sound American and they are still seen as the English kids.We are going home soon (uk) and I know they will be known as Americans...

My DD (on the other hand) (3) has an almost totally American accent, we love it and will encourage her to keep it, for as long as possible...
I find it unbearably cute when British kids adopt American accents. Mind you, at three she`s probably heard that one the most! Love to know how long it lasts in the UK.
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Old Feb 9th 2012, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Telling the kids about our move

Originally Posted by jemima55 View Post
I find it unbearably cute when British kids adopt American accents. Mind you, at three she`s probably heard that one the most! Love to know how long it lasts in the UK.
Me too!

I don't know why the boys don't really have one.

Eldest was 7 and the youngest 2 when we came here... They phrase things in an American way. My Dad claims they have a mid atlantic accent ~ whatever that is lol.

My DH is American, but very softly spoken *plus* he has travelled a lot,I think that made his accent less likely to have any impact on the boys.

We are heading for Dorset/Somerset, my DD's accent should lend itself quite nicely to that, considering the BURRRRR sound is strong in both
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