Son having a hard time

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Son having a hard time


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Old 30th March 2011, 06:00 PM
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Default Son having a hard time

We are hoping to move to France by the latest June 2012. My younger son who is 10 cant wait to go, however my older son who is 12 does not want to go at all. He has just become social in school and so of course will miss his friends. We are visiting in August and will be house hunting then also.

My other idea was to move this summer and rent a place for the summer before settling down big time. Then the wait for the big move would be closer.

I just dont know what to do. Do we move at the end of the school year here (june) and take the summer to research places, then have them start in school in Sept. Or do we put in another year or so here? We already have a binder on one property, can sell the business, and then put the other properties on the market. We would be ok for money for quiet a bit especially if we were renting. I just dont want to see my son so angry and hurting for so long.

any opinions?
Thanks
dorothy

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Old 30th March 2011, 06:31 PM
minesthechevy
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Originally Posted by dorothyokay View Post
I just dont want to see my son so angry and hurting for so long.

any opinions?
Thanks
dorothy
He'll get over it - and so should you. Tell the boy that his parents have mapped out his short-term future for him, and they don't want to hear any backchat.

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Old 30th March 2011, 09:53 PM
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I'll admit from the start that my opinions are automatically suspect, since I don't have any children...but I'll offer some thoughts anyhow.

It's a hard decision, Dorothy, no denying that - I'm sure you've read the other threads dealing with families whose children are resentful of their parents' decision to uproot them from a familiar way of life and drag them off to a foreign land. It seems too banal to say that every child is different, but of course it's true: some will welcome change and others fight against it.

One question is where exactly is he in school? At his age, he may be making the move from an elementary school to a middle school or to a junior high (depending on your school district - it all seems somewhat random to me these days) - if that's the case, I'd think it might be easier for him to leave a year earlier, before he makes the transition to a new school situation with new friends.

From having read many of your posts I don't think you're the kind of person to take a flat-out "my way or the highway" attitude as Minesthechevy suggests. Still, your son is a child, and as his parent, you do have both the responsibility and the right to control many aspects of his life, including where he is going to live. He can't be expected to behave completely reasonably about it (again, he's just a kid, without the foresight of an adult), so you may have to endure some of his anger and upset for a while. But who's to say he wouldn't be angry and upset about something else if you were staying in New York?

It may help to do an extended stay this summer - he may find that he enjoys France far more than he expected - but in making your final choice you should, in my view, focus on the serious economics of the situation - don't make a decision based purely on accommodating your son's preferences if that will affect your long-term finances. Better to put up with some hurt feelings and arguments now than to have cash flow problems down the line - if selling the business and your other assets requires you to stay in the US until 2012, it's probably best to do that.

If your son has cousins or friends whom he could visit occasionally in the US or Ireland or invite to visit him (assuming the cost isn't prohibitive), the suggestion of such a holiday might make him less reluctant to leave.

In the long run, you and your husband need to do what is best, in your view, for the family as a whole. There's no guarantee that if you stayed where you are your son would be blissfully happy throughout his adolescence, so you may just be facing up to something inevitable a bit sooner than you'd otherwise do.

Mind you, as I say, I don't pretend in any way to have true expertise in these matters...but no doubt those who do will weigh in on the topic.

Good luck to you!


Last edited by Newyorkaise; 30th March 2011 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 30th March 2011, 10:43 PM
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Thank you for you wisdom. He is in 6th grade ; but in a catholic school so it goes straight to 8th grade and then he would change for 9th grade. My other son is a year behind. So school wise, he wouldnt be moving for another 2 years if we stayed.
Things seem to be falling into place financially to do this big move this year. We do have tickets booked to visit in August, but could always change them, make it an earlier trip all going well, and stay a little longer. The other alternative is to rent a place in France for a few months/year and get our feet wet. Financially we can do that (not saying we would have lots of dough, but we would have enough to keep us going for at least 2-3 years).
I also dont want to give a 12 year old all the power, or at least let him think he has any power/control over this. He still is only 12 and while he is a good child, not bratty or talks backs, we also want to make sure he is heard. He is a child who we have to drag things out of just to get a slight idea of whats in his head. He has just started socializing at school and also he is at that age where friends are beginning to become important.
Thanks again. We may do the extended trip. We are jsut back from London, so he is familiar with some parts of Europe.

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Old 2nd April 2011, 04:20 PM
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Your first step with your son is to revisit, with your spouse, all the reasons that you chose to relocate to France in the first place. As the mother of four grown kids, three of whom were once 12 year old boys, I can tell you that they get angry, get hurt and get over it, many, many times during their transition from boy to man. Surging estrogen in girls and surging testosterone in boys leads to...what shall I say?...interesting years!

If you are solid on why you want to live in France, and that it's not a whim, (which it certainly, from your comments, doesn't seem to be the case), then calmly let your son know that he's not the decision maker here, that the adults are.

And I would definitely leave in the beginning of the summer, to help all of you get acclimated before the new school year in a new environment. Give both boys a chance to meet some kids their ages, so they don't walk into school in September total strangers.

You are entering the most challenging years of parenthood, but the most exciting ones, too, as you watch your little kids transform into wonderful adults right before your eyes. The challenge is that the progression is nothing like linear; they are 5 years old one minute and 25 the next. But the rewards are great, if you can suss out the adult responses when needed, and comfort and direct the childish people who still occupy so much of their brains.

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Old 3rd April 2011, 05:54 AM
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You could propose some buy in activities with his British friends in France as part of the deal:
- have a preparatory visit with one friend in France
- have common activities in France during holydays (invite one or 2)
- keep in touch with old friends by skype
- have some of UK habits maintained (mainly food, if it is marmite, bring a carton) for a while such as breakfast or dinner, so that your kids would fell more comfortable adapting to feeding changes (12 is a difficult age). It could also be clothing habits, since boys in the UK do not dress exactly the same as in France (although for me it does all look the same). It could be haircut, it could minor details that would make them feel comfortable.
- have France discovery activities organise: culture, food (cooking), and ...
- have a fewl events at home for your older kid such as video games, lectures, parties, movies, .... with the new local peers. Have teh same outisde: movies at theatre, sport, ....
- you, parents, need to speak French. This is key factor of success.

Usually within 6-10 months, the trick works. He will make new friends. Being overprotexctive does help. Being ignorant or carelss neither works.


good luck

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Old 3rd April 2011, 09:42 AM
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12 years old? Hmm, let me think back. Here's one that I think might work - every summer they turn a section of the river Seine in Paris into a sort of "Beach in Paris - AKA Paris Plage" area with beach chairs, umbrellas, sun bathers, etc. (whole beach vibe) Take him over there and let him get an eyeful of the pretty French babes in tiny bikini's. If I would have seen something like that at 12/13/14 that would be my new favorite place on the planet INSTANTLY !! We came close enough, hung out at the beach every summer, all summer long. Surfing and tiny bikini's (no topless going on in LA) was all we cared about - Puberty is full of magical changes and feelings, helps a young lad focus - LOL. I hope you (or anybody else) doesn't get offended, just talking reality here. Things are the way they are, the French understand this.

Also, just to echo some of the others. You're the adult, he's the kid, you're the boss, easy as that. You can't let kids run things. You do that and you get things like the US Government. No, adults need to take control, definitely. Zoom

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Old 3rd April 2011, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Zoom View Post
12 years old? Hmm, let me think back. Here's one that I think might work - every summer they turn a section of the river Seine in Paris into a sort of "Beach in Paris - AKA Paris Plage" area with beach chairs, umbrellas, sun bathers, etc. (whole beach vibe) Take him over there and let him get an eyeful of the pretty French babes in tiny bikini's. If I would have seen something like that at 12/13/14 that would be my new favorite place on the planet INSTANTLY !! We came close enough, hung out at the beach every summer, all summer long. Surfing and tiny bikini's (no topless going on in LA) was all we cared about - Puberty is full of magical changes and feelings, helps a young lad focus - LOL. I hope you (or anybody else) doesn't get offended, just talking reality here. Things are the way they are, the French understand this.

Also, just to echo some of the others. You're the adult, he's the kid, you're the boss, easy as that. You can't let kids run things. You do that and you get things like the US Government. No, adults need to take control, definitely. Zoom
I'm certainly not offended Zoom! I LOVE reading your posts, always guaranteed to get a laugh so keep them coming I say.

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Old 3rd April 2011, 01:53 PM
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My son is only 3 so I can't speak from experience as a mother. However, I was 15 when my family went to live in Italy for a year. The entire year before I was adamant that i didn't want to go. I even threatened to live with my father and step-mother. In the end I'm not sure what changed my mind but I'm so glad I did! To say it changed my life is a huge understatement. (Fast forward 20 plus years and I'm now married to an Italian and we are moving to France in June.)

My parents essentially did what other people have suggested. They listened to my "reasons" why I didn't want to go and we went anyway. What helped me tremendously was to go and spend the summer with an Italian family by myself before my parents came over in September. I highly recommend going over this summer and spending time getting to know the area. If you know any families in the area where you'll be, preferably with kids your son's age, spend as much time as you can with them. If not, I'm sure you can find another family on this forum. Have him learn as much French as possible. Go to the beach and let him see all the cute girls in bikinis. Let him know that it's going to be really difficult for the first few months but that in the end he'll be grateful. Finally, prepare yourself that it's going to be difficult for you to see your son suffer but that he will eventually get over it and be grateful that you made this move.

Good luck!

Anna

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Old 3rd April 2011, 02:32 PM
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Thank you for all the suggestions. His only reason is leaving his friends behind. He knows that we are going come hell or high water. We will make our trip as exciting as possible and also keep in the back of our minds that it wont be easy for him.

One hates to see their child suffer, but I also look at the long term experience of what we are doing and think as he gets older, he will appreciate it more.
Thanks
d

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