Post # 1
My FI has a 13 year old son, who lives with us half time. Great kid – he and I have good relationship. The three of us really work well as a family. So the issue is, I am finishing up my doctorate in clinical psychology which requires a year internship. My FI and I really want to move to another state and see my internship as an opportunity to do so. My future stepson’s mother is open to him moving with us. Unfortunately, he does not want to move and shuts down any discussion of it. We started talking to him about this early since I have not applied for internship yet and I would not begin until the fall of 2014. So by the time we move, he will be 14.5 and just starting high school. By the way, we live in a decent sized city now, so he would be going to a much bigger school with lots of kids he doesn’t know already.
So my question is to parents or members who went through a similiar situation as a kid, how do we approach this with him because we want him to be on board with the move? In addition, I really don’t want to be seen a bitch that made him and his father move. Any suggestions?
Post # 3
My husband has 2 children (4 & 9) and we moved them to a different city last summer. It was really hard on his 9 year old who had a lot of friends in the neighborhood he’d lived in his entire life.
There’s been pros & cons, the school is much, much, much better and he’s a better student as a result but he’s had difficulty meeting new friends and won’t get out in the neighborhood at all where he used to always be on his bike. It’s been 7 months and he hasn’t met a single boy in our neighborhood, which breaks our hearts.
I personally moved from NC to Texas right before high school and I was furious with my parents over it. Apparently I liked Texas though because I’m still here.
If he goes with you, he leaves not only his friends but his mother as well?
It’s a tough call, either way and I wish you the best of luck.
Post # 4
@praline13: Are you planning on staying in the new state for longer than your year-long internship? If not, I would let your FI’s son stay with his mom and continue to go to school where he’s at. I’m not sure there’s ever an easy way to convince a teenager to move away from everything s/he has known. Even if the new city has tons of cool stuff to do, the kid is still going to focus on what he’s left behind. Chance are, if you move him, he’ll probably resent you and your FI (especially you since it’s easy to blame the step-parents) for a little while, so you’re just going to have to deal with that. If you move to a small town where all the kids have known each other since kindergarten, the adjustment will be harder. If he plays sports or likes to get involved with school activities, it’ll likely be easier. No matter what, if you move him, please let him finish high school in the new place. Don’t move him again after your internship is up unless you absolutely have to.
Post # 5
That will be really hard for him. I would hate to move right before starting HS. Do you know where you will be headed? Can you take him to visit the location and get to know it first? Is there something he is passionate about you can get him involved in there? That would be a very very hard transition, not going to lie.
Post # 6
@praline13: My parents moved me to a new school right around that age, and I went from a straight A student to a troubled kid. You can understand it as a move to a new place, but to the child, their life is in complete upheaval. I’m not saying this to discourage you, but just to show you some perspective. I hope that you do not discount his fear/anxiety as childish or immature, and be prepared for some resentment.
Post # 7
@twofortheshow: We would be moving to a state that we plan to settle in. He would be able to finish HS there.
Post # 8
I think its great that you are letting him make this decision (or so it sounds) and other than laying out the opportunity there isnt much you can do so he sees it the way you see it.
My mom and step dad moved my right before my Freshman year. How did I feel? I felt like my world was going to end. I knew this wasnt my new step-fathers fault. I loved him before the move and couldnt wait for him to be part of the family, but when we moved I was soooooo mean to him. He was my scapegoat. I still feel horrible about the way I treated him and this is 16 years later
dont forget that even he may not know lots of kids in his new high school, he will know some. he will know where his friends live, where they hang out and how to catch up with them. He will have friends and to him that is most important right now.
You could offer that he tries the new school for 1 year and if at the end of the year he can move back with mom. This provides a safety net for him to give it a try.
But moving during this time can be very traumatic for a kid if its against their will, ESPECIALLY, since he could stay in his current situation.
Post # 9
I think it’s a little bit weird that you’re letting him have any sort of say in this. My family moved for a year when I was 12, so very close to your son’s age now, and yes I was very upset about it, but it wasn’t up to me to make decisions that affected the whole family. Does he have some say as to whether or not he’ll live with you or his mom, is that why you’re concerned about it?
Post # 10
We moved our DD11 to a new school over the summer, right before starting middle school. We thought it was a good time to transition as there are 5 elementary schools combining into 1. She has done wonderfully adjusting to the move and has made a lot of new friends.
I moved a lot as a child and moved at the end of my freshman. While I didn’t really like moving, we did it for a new house. I made friends at school, made the cheerleading team, and it worked for me. Unfortunately sometimes kids don’t get the option of choosing – they have to do what their parents want them to do and if that means moving, then so be it.
Post # 11
@ThreeMeers: Thank you for you reply. If he is not on board with us, then we won’t move until he graduates. Unfortunately, this cuts down on my opportunities, but it is important that he be with his father (my FI), especially during his teenager years.
It is not so much that he has a say, but if he chooses to live with his mother, then his father and I will not see him, except for summers. His father doesn’t want out of his life for big chunks of time, which is totally understandable and I support this.
Post # 12
@wubewe: Normally I’d agree with you, but I think this is a unique situation since the boy splits his time between his mother and father. I think it’s reasonable to get his opinion on moving when he doesn’t *have* to move.
@praline13: You just have to do what’s best for you and your family. If your FI’s son moves with you, he won’t see his mother 3/4 of the year, so either way, he’s missing a parent during his teenage years. I know it’s hard to weigh your education and career choices against his personal life, and I don’t think I can tell you which is more important. Something else to consider is college. In-state tuition is much cheaper than out-of-state/private schools, so it’s something to keep in mind. Are your current state’s schools good? What about the new state? The same thing goes for the high schools. Is his current one better or worse than his potential future one?