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Thread summary:

Florida family relocated to Houston, children not adjusting to move, seeking advice on helping children cope after moving, child depression, anger

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Old 01-19-2009, 07:41 AM
Location: Katy, Texas (via Clearwater, Florida)
156 posts, read 412,028 times
Reputation: 66


My wife and I were laid off from our jobs in Florida. My wife accepted a 'can't refuse' position in Houston. We bought a nice home in Katy (close Jan 23) and off we go. Life is good... well, not exactly. Our boys, 12 and 15, are fighting us the whole way. They are begging us to stay in Florida. I tried to explain to them the move was not of willingness, but rather of necessity. However, that will not suffice.

My youngest is taking it the hardest. He goes from anger to crying to mild depression. I try to comfort and encourage him, but he doesn't want to hear anything less than we are staying. This move is absolutely breaking my heart. I'm sure there are plenty other families who have gone through the same ordeal with their children. How do/did you cope?
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:29 AM
Location: In God's country
1,059 posts, read 2,412,749 times
Reputation: 608
Boy thats a tough one. Times are tough everywhere, and we have to do what we have to do. Have you tried to include the boys in the move? We just moved with our kids. And from the time we talked about it until the day we moved, we tried to include the kids. We had them go online and check out the area for themselves, what there was to do, ect. My oldest is 12, so she had to leave all her friends. However, she got on board after we let her investigate for herself. We are the parents, so they knew that we decided what we were going to do. It just made it seem as though they were included, and we thought and valued their input. (not that you dont) And now...they love it here.
How are you doing with the move? I wish you the best in your adventure.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:53 AM
Location: Amelia View
4,209 posts, read 12,516,607 times
Reputation: 3736
There have been a couple of threads here about your situation, so you're not alone!

I went through it when I was 12, and I thought the world was coming to an end. But obviously it didn't :-)

Unfortunately you can't tell your boys that because they won't believe it (since kids live in the here-n-now.) Don't feel unique that your heart is breaking - I'm sure my parents went through all that with me just as we did when we moved with our own daughter (at age 9, then at age 12, then at age 17). It will get better.

sunshineann gives good advice about letting them seek out what there is to do in and around Katy. And I can suggest that when you arrive in Katy (if you haven't already), go out and do things even if it means your new home is a mess from unpacking. As for unpacking, focus on your kids' rooms and on the toys/games/bikes etc that are theirs to get them settled first so that their familiar things are around them.

Good luck! And keep coming back here to give us updates on how it's going!
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:21 PM
Location: Conservative in Liberal California
1,663 posts, read 2,261,353 times
Reputation: 11303
It's never easy when a family has to pick up and move, but you have to do what you have to do for the good of the entire family. But these are kids...they'll adjust!

My parents moved me twice while in high school...they didn't ask my opinion...they were the adults. And I can tell you, I didn't particularly want to leave my friends either, what kid does? But I'll tell you what...I had new friends by the end of the first day at school! And with each move, I ended up enjoying the new place even better than the last!

Don't worry so much...and good luck!!
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:22 PM
5,683 posts, read 9,108,683 times
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We moved across country (Texas to Wisconsin) when our kids were 14 and 16, just starting 9th and 11th grades respectively. I can totally relate to what both you and they are going through right now, but there are things you can do to smooth the transition.

Your first and most important step is to get in touch with their future schools. Call up and make an appointment with the counselor for a visit and a tour. If your kids have any special interests - band, sports, drama, whatever - ask for an opportunity to meet the teacher(s) who they'll work with in those areas. Ask about the school's social groups: chess club, dance club, etc, and ask for a chance to meet with the faculty advisers of the groups.

At the same time, see if the district has a psychologist on duty (I'm pretty sure they do, my sister-in-law is a band director with Katy ISD and has said highly complimentary things about the district's services and infrastructure). Get in contact with the psychologist and alert him or her to the fact that your boys are having issues with the move, and ask for help.

Then, once you've made the move and you're all settling in, don't disappear, even if your kids act like they want you to. Get to know the teachers, staff and administrators at the school, volunteer to work on the PTA fundraiser or help chaperone the band trip or work the concession stand at the basketball game. Be a visible part of your children's support system along with the school.

If your kids have special friends back in Florida, see if you can facilitate a visit by those friends, after you've had a chance to settle in a bit. Get to know the area, then your boys can have the fun of taking their Florida friends to a real Texas-style barbeque or rodeo and introducing the Floridians to their new home. It'll give them a sense of ownership and mastery to take their friends from back east all around the school, showing them the things that are uniquely Texas about it.

Speaking from the vantage point of nearly a decade after our move, I can tell you that the first couple of years are likely to be challenging for all of you, but you and they can prevail. Our kids now freely acknowledge that they are far, far happier and incredibly much better off here than they were in the Rio Grande Valley, and they have long since forgiven us for uprooting them as we did.

Good luck to you and your boys, and I hope that the move is a wonderful one!
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:31 PM
Location: Austin, Texas
538 posts, read 1,656,145 times
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Listen to MidWestern great advice! Plan ahead, get them involved and yourself as well. Take weekend trips to get more familiar with the area. Let them decorate their room, give them some control.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:50 PM
Location: Right where I want to be.
4,507 posts, read 8,007,999 times
Reputation: 3332
While I understand that moving can be hard for everyone in the family, I can't get over how selfish it seems to have teens who are stomping angry about moving when the parents have lost their jobs. How do they expect to eat or live without jobs?

Seriously, you have explained the situation, let them participate in the house hunting or whatever, let them paint their new rooms and tour the new school, blah, blah, blah....but you have more serious issues than you think if they can't rally behind you and your wife, putting the interest of the entire family before their own desires.

I wish you luck on your new move, seriously sounds like you will need it.
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:42 PM
Location: WI
3,819 posts, read 8,885,541 times
Reputation: 2257
I was moved many times growing up, never spent more then one year in any given school or town until i was 16. Parent(s) were not in armed forces either, reasons to move were many but not for here. Anyhow, this was in 70's, so choices were few and far between to keep in contact with friends. Phone? sure the old rotary was there, but couldn't afford the $$. Mail? Sure, but really how many kids ( growing boys especially ) would keep writing pals back home. So each move became just another, and with each move it actually became easier to adjust and make friends ( like I had a choice ).
Point is, without allowing the kids to spend their existance on the net or on the phones, there are more ways to keep those relationships there longer. Maybe pick up a webcam--they are cheap enough, and if any of their friends ( or yours?? ) have them it's kinds like being there.
When the kids get older, whether they agree with everything you've done, they should at least understand.
And as noted before, keep 'em busy!

good luck
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:58 PM
Location: Charlotte, NC
973 posts, read 2,966,525 times
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They are just at that age where they think life is over as they know it because the family is moving. Although I applaud your effort to help them make the transition, there comes a point where they need to realize that this is something you "have" to do, not want to do and to stop making you miserable. You are making a big move also and leaving everything you know behind as well. You deserve a little compassion and understanding.
After a while, I think my own patience would wear thin and I would ask if they would prefer to live on the streets and starve or move.
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Old 01-23-2009, 03:29 PM
Location: dfw
277 posts, read 399,438 times
Reputation: 303
wow, you are in a tough spot but definitely not alone in these tough times. i would imagine a big reason your children do not want to move is due to their friends. i would try to get the children involved in the move, make them a part of the process, meaning that go on the internet and show the children pictures and all the things that one can do in the area. i would try and research some places that may be of interest to your children that you could possibly take them once they are there. i.e. musuems, aquariams, parks, ect. do your children play any sports? you could find them potential teams to join once you arrive there. once you get settled in your new area, you could dedicate one day to "family adventure day" and spend time doing an activity like going to the musuem or park or baseball game just to help your children adjust. good luck to you.
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