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Decisions, decisions...

Emigrating with teenage children - anybody had any problems?

Have I made the right choice? Homesickness etc.

Emigrating with teenage children - anybody had any problems?

Postby deppfan » Mon 23 Jan 2006 20:36 GMT

Hi

We are planning to leave for Ontario this summer with our 16 year old daughter and 5 year old son. Our daughter is not 100% happy about going - obviously leaving friends, family, way of life etc behind.

Was just wondering if anybody else is experiencing the same problems or if there are any British famillies who have made the move and how their teenagers settled in etc.

Thanks

Mal
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Postby Purley » Tue 24 Jan 2006 16:01 GMT

I have friends who emigrated from a small village in Oxfordshire to an acreage north of Regina. Their son was 15 at the time. He seems to have settled down perfectly well. They came over here and visited the school he was going to go to the summer before they came here and he emailed some of the kids before they actually emigrated. So far as I can tell he has had no problems whatsoever and seems to have made loads of friends, including a girlfriend!
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Postby Morwenna » Tue 24 Jan 2006 20:46 GMT

I think maybe it depends on the individual, and how they feel about coming in the first place.

Our 19 year-old son was over the moon about coming, and after nearly 4 months here still says its the best thing we've ever done and why didn't we do it years ago? He is sitting his grade 12 diploma exam in physics today, so fingers crossed everyone please? He was not particularly sociable in the UK, and if anything I think is more outgoing now. He smiles, jokes and chats more, and seems happy and much more confident in himself.

The younger son (14) worried us more. He really wanted to come, but was VERY sad about leaving his friends (boys and girls both). But he too loves it here now, and though occasionally talks of his UK friends, and is hoping some of them will be able to visit, he also says that Canada is wonderful and beats the UK in every respect.

I think if either of them had strongly taken against the idea from the outset, and maybe entrenched themselves in that position, we might all have had a far tougher time. Teenagers can be jolly stubborn critters!

I read of one family whose kids were so miserable here and did nothing but moan, until the parents decided it was breaking their hearts to see the children so unhappy, and they felt guilty about dragging them out here, so they all packed up and went home!

However, within a few weeks, the kids were whinging that they'd never wanted to leave Canada, England "sucked", they missed their Canadian friends and skiing etc, ....... and why couldn't they go back! :shock:
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Postby jessica » Tue 24 Jan 2006 21:12 GMT

Morwenna wrote:I think maybe it depends on the individual, and how they feel about coming in the first place.


I think that's pretty important. When I was 15 and my sister was 12, we moved from the UK to Holland. I was thrilled and couldn't wait, loved the experience, but I love moving and new stuff. My sister - well she was hysterical :roll: In the end though, given the time, school prospectus to look at, a visit to the school and the area and all was well for her. It turned out much better too, she had much more freedom than she would have had in the UK. I know it's a different country, but the international moving experiences are the same and relevant to your question I think. My parents were pretty patient but firm too, and I think that helped a lot.
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Postby Morwenna » Tue 24 Jan 2006 21:53 GMT

jessica wrote: My parents were pretty patient but firm too, and I think that helped a lot.


Yes I think that's important too. You, the parents, have looked into this, done the research, and decided that it will be a good thing for your child(ren).

I think you have to look at it this way.

By all means inform the child, educate them, maybe give them some things that they will have choice in, eg select 2-3 possible schools then ask them to choose, and what possessions to bring etc. Let them choose which bedroom they have and what colour to paint it, and so on.

Find ways, eg skype/vonage/msn that they can keep contact with their friends if that is important to them. Obviously listen to their arguments and let them know that their views ARE important ....... BUT in the end, YOU are making the decision.

If you think it is best for them that they come, then you are the parent! I have heard of some people that agreed with their child maybe that now was not a good time to be changing schools or something, and they have made arrangements for the child to stay there with relatives for that reason or similar .... but then, You are deciding that that is the best for that child.

One of my friends told her reluctant 11 year old that it was THEIR (the parents') decision to make after all was said and done, but that if it did turn out to be the wrong decision in the end then THEY would carry the blame. The boy (now 14), doesn't still hate them! :P
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Postby deppfan » Wed 25 Jan 2006 13:45 GMT

Hi

Thank you for everybody who replied. I think things would be easier if my daughter had contact with a teenager who had made the move over. Sadly, we cannot seem to find any websites that will help us.

If anybody has come across such a site, I'd be grateful for the address!!

Thank you for your support and words of wisdom.

Mal
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Postby Kay » Wed 25 Jan 2006 13:54 GMT

This is such an interesting thread, and so full of useful advice, I'm making it a "sticky". It would be a real shame if it got buried as new topics are posted.

Kay :D
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Postby Morwenna » Wed 25 Jan 2006 16:01 GMT

Thanks Kay, but I think it can be applied to any country, any move, or major decisions we are making that concern the whole family, especially when the child is old enough to have their own opinions/hopes/fears.

We were lucky I think, in that both our boys were very amenable to the idea from the outset,.... if a little surprised! I shudder to think how it might have been had one or both decided to dig their heels in. There is quite enough stress and worry with this kind of change without "difficult teenagers":shock:

I can quite understand how they could make it impossible, and the whole idea could fall flat!

I was discussing with my elder son yesterday how, as parents, sometimes you just have to take your best (educated possibly) guess at what the best plan of action will be (which school or whatever). Unfortunately sometimes only time will tell if you guessed right. This is when the kids discover that their parents are not the all-seeing, all-knowing individuals they might once, albeit briefly, have thought them! :D
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Postby ellsie » Thu 26 Jan 2006 09:42 GMT

Have you looked at www.relocation2bc.com website. I know that there are letters and advice from teenage kids there and that they also e-mail people. I know this is the wrong area for you but they may have contact with others in Ontario or offer other advice. Good luck.
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Postby deppfan » Fri 27 Jan 2006 09:43 GMT

Hi Ellsie

Thank you I will check that one out. I need all the help I can get with this one. Have now read some other threads which advise not to take teenagers out to Canada until they have sat their A level exams here at 18. So now totally confused!!!!

Are you planning to move to Canada??

Thanks

Mal
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Postby ellsie » Fri 27 Jan 2006 12:21 GMT

I was until today but at the moment it seems to be falling to bits! AAArgh! We are going as entrepreneurs and are having a little trouble.
We also have 3 girls ages 12,10 and 5 who all seem to be happy enough to go. I am looking at putting the youngest two in french immersion school. Then they can answer back bilingually!
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Postby deppfan » Fri 27 Jan 2006 13:59 GMT

Hi Ellsie

You poor thing!!! I must admit it does get you like that......you tend to put your life on hold....even if you don't think you are.

We have used an immigration lawyer to do all our paperwork (we are hopefully heading to Ontario) and he works along side an employment consultant who is confident he can find my hubby work.

So, he is going to start the employment search next month. So if Plan A goes to plan, my teenager will have done her GCSE's, my 5 year old would have completed a full year at school and then we will hopefully be off.

Plan B is still in it's infant stages...and we are trying not to think about it too much!!!

I am sure your move will go ahead nice and smoothly :D

I looked at the website you suggested and it does indeed have diaries from teenagers. So I am going to show my daughter to see what she thinks. Have to be careful not to frighten her off!!

Regards


Mal
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Postby ellsie » Fri 27 Jan 2006 16:47 GMT

I think we are on plan J or K. I feel like the cat in the hat with lots of plans appearing!
My youngest will also have done a year at school and because she has a January birthday she would not be due to start in Canada until this September. I think they will assess her. That's if she can stop talking for 5 mins!
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Postby Lorry » Mon 23 Mar 2009 17:33 GMT

Hi all,

I know this is an old thread, but I thought I would post a new experience on it.

I have a 14 year old daughter and a 6 year old daughter. We moved to Canada in July 2007.
It was a hard struggle trying to convince my eldest to move to Canada. My hubby and I knew it was the best thing for the kids and us, but leaving behind your friends and family at such a delicate age is tough on them.
It was hard saying goodbye, with lots of tears, we were wondering if this was the right thing to do after all.

We moved here in the summer holidays and stayed in an appartment in downtown Halifax for the first 5 weeks while we familiarised ourselves with the area and looked for a house and work.
It was a tough 5 weeks as the kids had no friends and we were in an appartment, so I had to organise days out and keep them amused.
Once we moved into our house and they started school, it became a bit easier as they made friends fairly quick (they were the only Brits in school, and the accent helps!)
My eldest cried quite alot as she missed friends and family back in England, but we kept comforting her and telling her she would settle and realise what a better life she could have here.

I was fearful she would return to England by herself after leaving school. I was convinced she missed it so much there and she didn't want to live here.

Well, when we came into financial difficulty early this year, we sat and spoke with the kids and told them we may have to move back to England. What a reaction we got - they burst into tears and left the table!

I think the reality of moving back didn't seem so good now that they had new friends and a new life here.

They had both come to love it here in Canada and didn't want to return.
My eldest told me that her and a couple of friends here were planning to rent a small appartment when they left school and she wouldn't be able to do that if we moved back.

So, it is tough at first. There will be tears and tantrums, but kids do adjust easily and they do make new friends.

You have to do what you think is right for you and your family. Hopefully we did, and that's all you can hope for!

Good luck all :D
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