Spirited Away: The Perils Of Uprooting Your Family

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As parents, we are more than aware of our influence over our children. The decisions that we make may well shape their entire lives, and as they get older, they have their own sense of independence, and naturally, conflict arises between you and them. So, when something arises like an opportunity for you to progress your career or something life-changing comes up that is of benefit to you, but it requires you to move your entire family away from everything they know, your family may view it negatively. So how do you deal with this?

The Inevitable Discussion With Your Partner…

Between the two of you, you might have already decided that this is the best thing for you all, but in discussing it, some complications may arise. The one big issue with uprooting your family to another part of the world, or even another part of the same country, is the effect it will have on the children.

And whether you are raising teenagers or toddlers, the idea of taking them away from everything they know can be incredibly stressful. We all know that starting again is a supremely difficult task when you are a fully grown adult, but imagine what it’s like for the kids. Changing schools, making new friends, and learning how to begin again can be a very challenging task, but also a very depressing one. As a result, they may hold it against you, that you have “ruined” their life. And this can be very difficult for you also. So, when it comes to discussing it with your partner, it’s vital that you look at the overall effects on each individual family member.

The fact of the matter is that you may view it as a positive for you and a positive for the family, but in actual fact, it’s only benefiting you because of this new and exciting prospect. So tread carefully.

Addressing The Positives…

So, you and your partner have discussed it, you are both in agreement that moving will be the best thing for everyone concerned, but how do you discuss this with the children? And while you may have already done your research and found the best schools for them, this won’t matter, because you are taking them away from their friends and everything they know.

In this respect, a bit of emotional bribery may be what the doctor ordered. Depending on the age of your children, you may have to blind side them with a few of the positives of the area. If you are moving to an area where there are beautiful mountain ranches, the opportunity for riding horses may appeal very much to a child under the age of 10. However, this won’t work as well with a teenager! The one major positive about teenagers using social media now is that even though people move away, contact doesn’t need to be any less than it was before. This is a very convincing argument if you are trying to get a teenager to come around to your way of thinking.

Unfortunately, you saying that you’ve got an amazing job is not going to cut it with them. So instead, your best approach would be to take them there. Because moving to a new place is a big and scary prospect, it’s much better for everyone to have a sneak preview of the place. So, arrange a family vacation to the place, and try and cram in as much of the sights, sounds, and smells, as you possibly can. This is going to be your one shot at convincing those that haven’t come around to the idea.

The Key To Settling In…

The hardest thing for any family when they are taking the plunge and moving to a whole new place is that they feel alone, that there is nobody around. This isn’t just in terms of the children, but your partner, or even you, could feel this sense of isolation. This is completely normal, but the one way to help navigate this transition from your hometown to a whole new place is to have a support network already there when you land. Now, this can be difficult, but obviously, there is a reason you have moved to the place.

Maybe you have moved for a new career, or you have wanted a fresh start. Regardless of the reason, there is something that has drawn you to this particular place. If you have moved because of a new job, it’s much easier to look for that social support, because you will have it with your new work colleagues, and you have people you’ll be able to reach out for. As a result, this may feel that you are the one that has the social support, not your family. But this can take some time to adjust.

The other great benefit of social media now is that there are infinite groups but that you, your partner, and your children could potentially join, such as mother support groups, neighborhood groups, or even social functions for your teenager. If you can get a sneak preview of the best ways to settle in that suits your partner or your children’s attitudes and interests, this is going to make for a much easier transition.

Will It Work?

Moving your family from somewhere that you have a history, friends, and a whole way of life, to somewhere completely new, is always a gamble. This is why it’s important for you to trust your gut at the outset. We can get blinded by the perks of a new place, be it a new career, an amazing salary, or a fresh start, that you may ignore your instincts. In all honesty, if it doesn’t feel right, then the likelihood is that it isn’t right.

However, if you feel that it’s an opportunity for everyone to start again, and you have weighed out the pros and cons for each family member, (not just yourself), and you can see that going to this new place will benefit you all in the long run, then why don’t you do it? You won’t know unless you try! Yes, it’s much harder to sell a property and prepare the move, and the first few weeks can feel like an uphill struggle, but these are all teething issues. You will know in your heart of hearts if this will benefit your family.

As a father, we only want the best for our family, and although you may feel that uprooting your family is the best option, spend some time and think if everyone will be better off for it, not just now, but in the future.

 

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Ben is a follower of Christ, a rabid computer geek, small business owner, and breaker of things. He is married way above his station in life and has three wonderful children who have made driving him insane their mission in life.

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