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Moving overseas with 13 year old son (only child)

Moving overseas with 13 year old son (only child)

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Moving overseas with 13 year old son (only child)

Hello everyone, my first post. After 9 years in Adelaide, we are moving back to London. We've been open about having to leave Adelaide for work for some time so it's no surprise to our son and he has said he's excited. We talk openly with him about his feelings but he seems very laid back about it and I'm worried that underneath he is anxious etc. I'm struggling with his lack of communication, general teenageness and from what I've read about teenage boys, this is normal but I'd appreciate any advice. Thank you. 

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Re: Moving overseas with 13 year old son (only child)

Hey @MazzieP, thanks for sharing that with us. I think it is great that you have open dialogue with your son about his feelings. You could try asking about what would he do if he did feel nervous about something? Would he be able to let you know or someone else? You could normalise feeling nervous and dive right in and discuss situations that are likely to bring about nervousness whilst providing support (e.g changing schools and how this could be managed etc). Just some ideas but I will tag some other parents for their input Smiley Happy Good luck with the move! @sunflowermom @Sister @Happy @Sunshine6 @provincetown @Mumof1

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Re: Moving overseas with 13 year old son (only child)

Thank you so much for the quick reply @Taylor-RO! I absolutely know that I can be a little anxious but I am trying to understand him more and relax a little. It's hard to find a time when we can actually get him to converse with us but we have just been through a list of teen agreements with him (thankfully he's doing most already) and your suggestions are very useful! I look forward to hearing from other parents Smiley Wink

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Re: Moving overseas with 13 year old son (only child)

Hi @MazzieP

I've moved with my two kids several times within Australia and overseas due to my husbands work commitments 

 

When my eldest was 14 and my youngest 9, we moved back to Sydney, initially they were very excited! BUT within 2 weeks of starting a new school reality hit hard!

They started missing their friends and thanks to social media my daughter could see her friends having a wonderful time and she felt very sad that she couldn't join them. So we got the 'I Hate it here!! Why are we here!!! Can we move back etc. 

 

If I had my time again I would have them chat to the school counsellor/school mentor as they are great at asking the right questions and getting teenagers to talk about feelings and how to prepare themselves for a new school/new city etc. If that isn't an option, asking a close family member or friend to ask general questions about moving to London will hopefully get him to open up.

 

You mentioned that you're moving back to London. Do you have family and friends there? If so, chatting to your son about them will ease any worry he may have. Organising a get together within the first couple weeks would also help and give him something to look forward to.

 

Teenagers generally don't like chatting, so be weary of any behavioural changes, as this can be a sign of not coping and unhappiness. 

 

Happy to answer any other questions you may have.

 

 

 

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Re: Moving overseas with 13 year old son (only child)

Thanks for your message @Happy

 

All our family are in the UK and friends too, so we are 'going home'. Our son has experienced a fair amount of his close school friends leaving, to other schools or interstate so we're hoping that because he's experienced so much change, it won't be too hard for him. We've discussed the move a lot and been open that it's exciting but also a big change. Friends have asked how he feels about the move and the answer is 'good', no more no less! Smiley LOL

 

The school we're hoping to get him into are proud of their integration process for new students. He knows to talk to us (or anyone he's comfortable talking to) if he's feeling anxious but I'm also worried that if we say that too much, we'll almost make him worry! I've certainly got a lot to learn living with a teen, I am very aware that I need to step back, let him learn by mistakes and/or experience. Dad is spending good quality time with him too, which I know they both need. 

 

I really appreciate your replies and suggestions, particularly with teenage boy behaviour which is absolutely new to me!! 

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Re: Moving overseas with 13 year old son (only child)

Hey there @MazzieP - I can imagine trying to navigate the new waters of teenage-hood for your son must be really confusing and a big process!!  

It really does sound like you and your partner are being incredibly supportive in communicating with your son in many different ways, that he can come to you with his feelings and is safe to do so. Quality time between dad and son is great!

It might help your son to feel even safer to express himself if he sees emotional vulnerability modelled in his dad - if dad opens up about some of his fears, emotions, feelings - whether current or previous - it might help your son to see that it is a-okay for a grown man to be expressive about his emotions.  

I think a big part of teenage-hood for boys, is about growing into a man - and learning what a 'man' is - sadly in our world this is often equated with being stoic, and strong, rather than emotionally vulnerable. Something to keep in mind when navigating this transition stage! 

 

It could very well be that he is excited and happy, as he's saying, and that asking too many times could make him worried. 

But this is a good time to be laying out the foundations for good communication and respect through adolescence... and yes all the mistakes and experiences he will have! 


The school sounds great as well. When do you leave?

 

 

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Re: Moving overseas with 13 year old son (only child)

Thank you all for your feedback and advice. Today has been a tough day for all as our rental has been packed up by the shipping company and I blame 3 hours sleep last night for blubbing like a baby in the empty house. We had to say goodbye to a family that we have all grown close to. Our son will remain in digital contact but it was still hard for him. He doesn't like any fuss when upset so we're letting him bounce back in his Airbnb bedroom. We leave early morning on Wednesday. We have a tour of (hopefully) his new school on Friday... fingers crossed he gets a place as all of the schools in the area are oversubscribed. Again, thank you again for your help, I really appreciate it. 

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Re: Moving overseas with 13 year old son (only child)

I just wrote a long reply, basically thanking you all, how we've all been emotional today saying goodbye to a close family. Our son doesn't like any fuss when he's upset so he's bouncing back in his room. We have a tour of the school in London on Friday. I'm sure all will be fine. Thanks again for your advice and for listening 😊

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Re: Moving overseas with 13 year old son (only child)

It looks like my original reply sent after all 🤔
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Re: Moving overseas with 13 year old son (only child)

Hi @MazzieP
Thank you for letting us know how your all going!
When the removalists come and pack etc. is when we all realise it’s really happening!
I think you handled it really well and giving him space to process it all is a great idea.
Fingers crossed with the school at the end of the week!
Wishing you and your family all the best 😁