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lindyc: Older Children


lindyc
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Hi everyone

I am Lindy (38 years young) I am married to Graham (41) and have two children (17years and 14years) we live in Pretoria and we are only starting the process to immigrate. I would love to hear from someone that has immigrated with children that are as old as mine, as I have heared that it is a very difficult age to move them.

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Hi Lindy (feels like I'm greeting myself :thumbdown: )

Welcome to forum, but sorry I can't help, my kiddies are still too young. Sure someone will give you good advise on the older kids.

Lindy-Lee

:unsure:

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Hi Lindy!

My son was 18 years old and my daughter 11 when we took the plunge. I just had a quick peek at the forum before I shut down for the day and saw your post. I really want to answer you and elaborate, but I have other stuff which requires my attention at the moment so I promise to get back to you tomorrow. In short: My daughter's transition was as smooth as butter, but my son struggled a bit. I can also tell you that they are now both thriving in Australia and has no wish or intention to return to South Africa! (Chat to you tomorrow! :unsure: )

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Dear Lindy,

Welcome to the forum! I am sure that you will find a lot of information here!

I see that you are in Pretoria. Please feel free to join us for the next Coffee Club. (see Time and Date of Gauteng Coffee Club in November 2006)

Good luck with all the planning.

Regards,

Pippa

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Hi everyone

I am Lindy (38 years young) I am married to Graham (41) and have two children (17years and 14years) we live in Pretoria and we are only starting the process to immigrate. I would love to hear from someone that has immigrated with children that are as old as mine, as I have heared that it is a very difficult age to move them.

Welcome Lindy!

We arrived here with three kids aged 13,12,10 five years ago, and the transition was reasonably easy. My son of 13 struggled the most as he jad a certain "stature" in his school in SA ,and arrived as a nobody. This worked itself out within weeks.

We are surrounded by families who have left SA , and these are a few of my observations:

(1)teenagers struggle more than younger children

(2)Do the children understand why you need to move?If they fully understand and are supportive it will be easier.

(3)Are they involved in ralationships? This has been a killer for many older teenagers.

(4)personalty of the child.(Some just take transition easier)

But eventually-some longer than others- the kids become Ozzies.

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OK, as promised, here goes:

When we decided to emigrate it all happened within 6 months (from thought to flight!) and I was so consumed with everything that needed to be done that I assumed my kids were OK. We did have a family conversation before we made the decision and all agreed it was the way to go - we were all even a bit excited! So I never, for a moment, thought that my kids would have second thoughts or concerns or needed to talk about what they were going through. I also, during this time, focused on my daughter (then 10, turning 11) a lot more than on my son (then 17).

My son was busy with his matric exams and really enjoyed his life & school and because he was older I just assumed he was handling everything very well. He was not much involved in the process (apart from carrying a few heavy boxes to the garage on the odd occasion etc.). On one occasion he wanted to know that if he did not like it in Australia, if he could return to South Africa. I asked him to give it at least a year before he decides, but if he then decides to return to South Africa, we would not stop him, as long as he had a plan in how to maintain himself (at this stage in his life, he had no intention to study further and would have to enter the workforce). I promised him that he could return the next year for a holiday to see his friends as he would be missing out on the usual end of year holidays with his friends. He agreed to all this and I never gave it a second thought.

On the other hand, I made a lot of effort with my daughter, involving her in most aspects of the process: making signs for the garage sale, handing out brochures, sorting through stuff & deciding what to keep & what to take etc. We spoke a lot about emigrating and what life might be like in another country, how she would feel leaving her friends etc. I was very realistic in the picture I created for her in her mind about going to an English school (our home language being Afrikaans), that she would maybe find the English terminology difficult and that her marks may drop and also that it would take time to make new friends and to feel that you belong to a group. In all, she was very well prepared for the change and very positive about the emigration.

What I did not realise was that my son had serious doubts, fears and concerns and was not at all emotionally at the right place. At his age, his friends were everything to him and much more important than any reason why we decided to emigrate. He did not want to emigrate anymore (we did not know this then...)

My daughter & I came to Australia shortly after my husband and my son (now 18) stayed in South Africa to complete his exams. When he joined us here, he was in good spirits and excited about everything, but that soon wore off and he became more quiet & withdrawn and started to spend more time in his room playing PC games and watching DVD's. He did not want to go out because he did not want to go out on his own. He knew no other young ppl his age and really became very miserable.

My husband decided to give my son a challenge (being the extreme sport enthusiast, maybe that's just what he needed to get him out of this depressive state). He dropped my son of at Manly Backpackers to get a life (so to speak) and for almost 2 weeks, we did not hear a word from him. I was so concerned about his state of mind but did not want to smother him by contacting him to find out how he was doing. A few days later, I got the sms: "I'm having the best time of my life! I got sun burnt but I got myself something from the pharmacy. I miss your cooking. Love you". And that was the turning point for him. From there on, he went on a Jackeroo course where he met a whole bunch of backpackers and joined up with them to backpack Australia! As promised, we bought him a ticket to South Africa and on his return he told us that he knows that we did the right thing to come to Australia, even though he missed being with his friends.

All in all I'd say that my daughter adjusted very quickly and easily made friends. She did battle with the accent of her friends and the teachers and said that she did not know what they said half the time and felt stupid for not being able to take part in a conversation without them having to repeat themselves. Sometimes she just pretended to understand, to save herself the embarrassment. As far as her academics go, she did have a struggle with the terminology, especially in Science & Math but the teachers were great and together with other aids she was on top of it within 3 months (she is now in the gifted & talented class at high-school and doing great!) There's not a weekend going by without her having friends over or going for sleepovers or out with her friends. It's as if she's just always been here.

My son is living in Perth, where he is studying at TAFE - he was awarded the most outstanding student for his course - and he's having the time of his life! He has 2 part-time jobs and a very busy social life. He has thanked us on many occasions for his life in Australia and has no intention to return to South Africa. He is still in contact with some of his friends and yes, he does miss them, but he is happy with his life as it is and is moving on. I do feel guilty for not involving him more in the emigration process and for not being more sensitive to his emotions. I think it all just happened too quick for him and at a time in his life where any kid is at an emotional cross-road. And I think it was very wrong to just assume he was OK with everything and that he was coping emotionally. In his case, I should have done it much differently and I should have checked-in on him throughout the process. Just because he was older did not make it any easier for him.

My advice: TALK to your kids. EXPLAIN to them in realistic terms how their lives will be affected. Don't create a utopia in their minds. PREPARE them for the difficulties they might come across: adjustment to school/life in general, being lonely & without friends, feeling you don't belong, grades dropping initially etc.- although these are all normal things, they take it all very personally! BE THERE for them - check in on them regularly, open up the communication channels, allow them to speak their mind - even though it might not always be what you want to hear, share your own emotions & concerns with them - this will make it easier to deal with their own and would not make them feel guilty for feeling that way, allow them to be down, scared, concerned, doubtful.

Well, this is my story - sorry it's such a lengthy one! I hope you could learn something from it and hope it could put some of your own concerns & fears to rest. Good luck for the road ahead and especially everything you'll have to deal with as far as your kids goes. It'll all work out! :unsure:

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OK, as promised, here goes:

When we decided to emigrate it all happened within 6 months (from thought to flight!) and I was so consumed with everything that needed to be done that I assumed my kids were OK. We did have a family conversation before we made the decision and all agreed it was the way to go - we were all even a bit excited! So I never, for a moment, thought that my kids would have second thoughts or concerns or needed to talk about what they were going through. I also, during this time, focused on my daughter (then 10, turning 11) a lot more than on my son (then 17).

My son was busy with his matric exams and really enjoyed his life & school and because he was older I just assumed he was handling everything very well. He was not much involved in the process (apart from carrying a few heavy boxes to the garage on the odd occasion etc.). On one occasion he wanted to know that if he did not like it in Australia, if he could return to South Africa. I asked him to give it at least a year before he decides, but if he then decides to return to South Africa, we would not stop him, as long as he had a plan in how to maintain himself (at this stage in his life, he had no intention to study further and would have to enter the workforce). I promised him that he could return the next year for a holiday to see his friends as he would be missing out on the usual end of year holidays with his friends. He agreed to all this and I never gave it a second thought.

On the other hand, I made a lot of effort with my daughter, involving her in most aspects of the process: making signs for the garage sale, handing out brochures, sorting through stuff & deciding what to keep & what to take etc. We spoke a lot about emigrating and what life might be like in another country, how she would feel leaving her friends etc. I was very realistic in the picture I created for her in her mind about going to an English school (our home language being Afrikaans), that she would maybe find the English terminology difficult and that her marks may drop and also that it would take time to make new friends and to feel that you belong to a group. In all, she was very well prepared for the change and very positive about the emigration.

What I did not realise was that my son had serious doubts, fears and concerns and was not at all emotionally at the right place. At his age, his friends were everything to him and much more important than any reason why we decided to emigrate. He did not want to emigrate anymore (we did not know this then...)

My daughter & I came to Australia shortly after my husband and my son (now 18) stayed in South Africa to complete his exams. When he joined us here, he was in good spirits and excited about everything, but that soon wore off and he became more quiet & withdrawn and started to spend more time in his room playing PC games and watching DVD's. He did not want to go out because he did not want to go out on his own. He knew no other young ppl his age and really became very miserable.

My husband decided to give my son a challenge (being the extreme sport enthusiast, maybe that's just what he needed to get him out of this depressive state). He dropped my son of at Manly Backpackers to get a life (so to speak) and for almost 2 weeks, we did not hear a word from him. I was so concerned about his state of mind but did not want to smother him by contacting him to find out how he was doing. A few days later, I got the sms: "I'm having the best time of my life! I got sun burnt but I got myself something from the pharmacy. I miss your cooking. Love you". And that was the turning point for him. From there on, he went on a Jackeroo course where he met a whole bunch of backpackers and joined up with them to backpack Australia! As promised, we bought him a ticket to South Africa and on his return he told us that he knows that we did the right thing to come to Australia, even though he missed being with his friends.

All in all I'd say that my daughter adjusted very quickly and easily made friends. She did battle with the accent of her friends and the teachers and said that she did not know what they said half the time and felt stupid for not being able to take part in a conversation without them having to repeat themselves. Sometimes she just pretended to understand, to save herself the embarrassment. As far as her academics go, she did have a struggle with the terminology, especially in Science & Math but the teachers were great and together with other aids she was on top of it within 3 months (she is now in the gifted & talented class at high-school and doing great!) There's not a weekend going by without her having friends over or going for sleepovers or out with her friends. It's as if she's just always been here.

My son is living in Perth, where he is studying at TAFE - he was awarded the most outstanding student for his course - and he's having the time of his life! He has 2 part-time jobs and a very busy social life. He has thanked us on many occasions for his life in Australia and has no intention to return to South Africa. He is still in contact with some of his friends and yes, he does miss them, but he is happy with his life as it is and is moving on. I do feel guilty for not involving him more in the emigration process and for not being more sensitive to his emotions. I think it all just happened too quick for him and at a time in his life where any kid is at an emotional cross-road. And I think it was very wrong to just assume he was OK with everything and that he was coping emotionally. In his case, I should have done it much differently and I should have checked-in on him throughout the process. Just because he was older did not make it any easier for him.

My advice: TALK to your kids. EXPLAIN to them in realistic terms how their lives will be affected. Don't create a utopia in their minds. PREPARE them for the difficulties they might come across: adjustment to school/life in general, being lonely & without friends, feeling you don't belong, grades dropping initially etc.- although these are all normal things, they take it all very personally! BE THERE for them - check in on them regularly, open up the communication channels, allow them to speak their mind - even though it might not always be what you want to hear, share your own emotions & concerns with them - this will make it easier to deal with their own and would not make them feel guilty for feeling that way, allow them to be down, scared, concerned, doubtful.

Well, this is my story - sorry it's such a lengthy one! I hope you could learn something from it and hope it could put some of your own concerns & fears to rest. Good luck for the road ahead and especially everything you'll have to deal with as far as your kids goes. It'll all work out! :ilikeit:

Hi Riekie

Thanks for the advise, I feel alot better. I am lucky I have a very open relationship with my daughter so I am hoping that this will make a difference. They do agree with the reasons that we are doing this and know that it is the right decision. Once agian thank you for sharing your experience with me.

Regards

Lindy

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Guest Bronwyn

Hi Riekie & Lindy

I hope I will not be hijacking your thread too much if I put in a few concerns of my own, but it seems to follow on with your conversation. I am hoping Riekie will be able to give me some insight on this.

We are moving to Adelaide in 6 week's time and have starting packing. Our biggest reason for the move is our children's futures, as we are not happy with their schooling, future job opportunities, and the level of violence they are exposed to here in the media daily. It is just not natural for children to live with fear all the time, and it is not their responsibility to handle the country's problems.

Our kids are 9 & 11 and are quite positive about the move, although apprehensive. They worry about making new friends and whether they will be able to do the schoolwork, but we are confident that they will be OK.

My problem is this. My husband was married before and has a son of 14, who is staying in S. Africa with his mom, who has remarried and has a little girl of 5. This son (Jason) is very close to us all, and we have had him over almost every weekend, for his whole life, so he is truly part of our family. It is our intention to fly him out once or twice a year (as finances allow) so we can continue almost as normal :ilikeit: .

He has told us he is happy with the arrangement, and we are bringing him with us in December (I felt it was important for him to see his brother & sister settle into their environment), but he has to fly back alone in January to start school. I recently found out he told some other family members he is very unhappy about the move, and both my husband & I feel terrible. We have always made him part of our family, but his mom has custody and obviously wants to keep him with her. He also has another little sister here (the 5 year old).

We are hoping when he finishes school he will have a chance to study in Aus, and when we get PR he may have a chance to join us, if that's what he wants. We did not feel we could wait any longer to move, especially as my husband is now turning 41.

I am hoping anyone will have some insight on whether this inter-continental thing will work, but I haven't heard from anyone with similar circumstances.

Maybe I just want to get things off my chest, I am just very concerned about breaking the family up like this.

:D Bronwyn

Edited by Bronwyn
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Hi B, it really is a sad situation and I can understand the emotional turmoil you're going through. I myself had a similar experience, although not exactly the same, which I've discussed in the LL (only because it was just too personal for me to share on the public forum). If you don't have access to the LL - please let me know so I can arrange it. You're also welcome to PM me anytime! :)

Sometimes you have to make decisions for the greater good - however heartbreaking it is. Thinking of you....

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Hi LindyC

Welcome to the forum! You have already got some great advice from our local GURU :blush: !

Bronwyn, not an easy situation, and I don't have any answers. Just thinking of you.... :)

Greetings,

Dreamy

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Riekie, baie dankie.

My dogters sien uit na die oorgaan..maar ek besef nou ek sal gereeld net weer moet in diepte opvolg of dit nog die gevoel is

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Riekie, baie dankie.

My dogters sien uit na die oorgaan..maar ek besef nou ek sal gereeld net weer moet in diepte opvolg of dit nog die gevoel is

Jy's welkom! :D Ja jong, mens moet maar saggies trap op daai jong emosies..... (Hoe oud is jou dogters? - Jy het dit seker al genoem :lol: , maar ai, die geheue is nie meer so "vars" nie..... :ilikeit: ) Sterkte vir julle - en vir ALMAL wat kinders het! :lol:

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