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At what age does it become difficult to adjust new country
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amother




Floralwhite


Post  Tue, Jan 29 2019, 11:10 am
My children are 7, 4 and 2.

They they have always lived in the same place. The older one has been at the same school for 4 years and is now in 1st grade.

We are seriously considering moving back to my country of origin which will mean a new country, language and school system for the kids (they already speak the language at home with me but are currently schooled in the language of the country we live.)

Obviously the older a child gets, the more difficult it is for them to adjust to a new environment and there is no magic age at which it suddenly becomes a lot more difficult, but generally speaking, is it very hard for a 7 or 8 year old to adjust?

At this point, I am not worried about either of my 2 youngest, but I am worried about the affect such a move would have on my 1st grader. She is generally very adaptable, but has obviously not had to do anything like this before.

Has anyone moved with a similar aged child or older? How did the child adapt?


Last edited by amother on Tue, Jan 29 2019, 11:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Aubergine


Post  Tue, Jan 29 2019, 11:22 am
I moved countries when my children were 11,9,8,2,1. They had no trouble transitioning. We moved right after school ended so that they had the summer to adjust to the new house, country etc.
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amother




Blue


Post  Tue, Jan 29 2019, 11:29 am
The general rule is that younger is better, but that's only a general rule. Some kids are more resilient, some less. Some pick up languages and accents easily, some don't. It really depends on the individual kids.

Also, the parents' adjustment also matters. How are you with the language and culture? Do you view it as positive or do you compare the new place unfavorably to "home"?

How is the transition in general? Are finances stable? Is the housing and school situation pleasant?

All of these - and more- and factor into the adjustment.

ETA, we moved with older kids and they have done very well.
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amother




Mustard


Post  Tue, Jan 29 2019, 1:01 pm
I moved to a new state when my kids were 6 and 10 months. my 6 year old did not do well at all. it was a huge shock and took me switching schools for that child to adjust.
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amother




Floralwhite


Post  Tue, Jan 29 2019, 2:31 pm
amother wrote:
I moved to a new state when my kids were 6 and 10 months. my 6 year old did not do well at all. it was a huge shock and took me switching schools for that child to adjust.


What kind of problems did your 6yo have? Did you expect him or her to have problems or did you think they would adjust more easily?
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doctorima




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jan 29 2019, 2:46 pm
While all kids are different and you have to know yours, a respected American Rabbi in Israel once said that his general rule of thumb is that age 9 is the cutoff for being able to successfully switch to a new language, culture, etc.

I would assume a typical 1st grader should be able to handle it okay and wouldn't let that hold me back from moving, though I'd probably work on building her skills in speaking, reading, and writing the new language to make the transition as smooth as possible.
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jan 29 2019, 2:54 pm
If the kids already speak the language that is spoken in the country you are thinking of moving back to, that is already a big hurtle to not have to cross.
When I made aliyah, I went to a lecture by a psychologist, about different ages and stages in life and making aliyah, and she said that moving countries is probably best for a child in 2nd grade (or younger of course) as they then know what school is all about having gone through 1st grade, but they are not too far along and can adapt a bit easier than if older.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jan 29 2019, 3:00 pm
I made Aliyah when DD was 12, and it was a trainwreck. She moved back to America to live with her dad, and she's a year behind in schooling because of the gap in curriculum. She was super excited to move here, and really wanted to make it work, but she just couldn't. It was way too hard for her. Sad

I tell everyone that I made a huge mistake, and they should bring their kids the younger, the better. Also, make sure they know a little bit of their new country's language BEFORE you move. It will help them socially and pay off in a big way.
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Aylat




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jan 29 2019, 3:51 pm
My oldest turned 7 a couple of months after we made aliya. The first year was hard for her and for the 5 yo. But now all our kids have totally integrated and are doing great. (She is 13 now.)
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flmommy




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jan 29 2019, 4:31 pm
7-9 oldest depending on kid. 9 in your case because of language.
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amother




Vermilion


Post  Tue, Jan 29 2019, 5:29 pm
I moved with 5 kids. My oldest had just finished 2nd grade (going into 3rd), and BH she did extremely well. She was like a fish in water after the first month already. My second one had a harder time... It definitely depends on the child
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amother




Scarlet


Post  Tue, Jan 29 2019, 6:17 pm
I moved when my kids were 9 and 4 . New country . New language.
9 year old boy adjusted very easily as he went to a yidish speaking cheider and we spoke yidish at home and at his previous cheider . He picked up the English very quick
4 year old dd did amazingly well . Learned English in no time even though she never spoke it . Made friends in school and in the neighbourhood and quickly became the most popular girl on the block
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amother




Cerulean


Post  Tue, Jan 29 2019, 7:41 pm
I moved to israel when I was 14. My brother was 11. We had an easy time adjusting because we spend our summers there and we had family and friends we kept in touch with, including grandparents. We also speak hebrew at home. Of course age is a factor, however if you have the same situation we did, your children will adjust nicely.
Remember to consider customs and lifestyles
For example: ice skating and bike riding and bowling are not accepted in the chareidi world in eretz yisroel, whereas in the USA it is more accepted.
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Teomima




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jan 29 2019, 8:02 pm
The younger the better. I was 11 when my family made aliyah and I had a miserable adjustment. My brother, on the other hand, was only 9 and he integrated very smoothly.
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Surrendered




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jan 29 2019, 8:13 pm
It really depends on the personality of the child.
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amother




Babyblue


Post  Wed, Jan 30 2019, 3:21 am
FranticFrummie wrote:
I made Aliyah when DD was 12, and it was a trainwreck. She moved back to America to live with her dad, and she's a year behind in schooling because of the gap in curriculum. She was super excited to move here, and really wanted to make it work, but she just couldn't. It was way too hard for her. Sad

I tell everyone that I made a huge mistake, and they should bring their kids the younger, the better. Also, make sure they know a little bit of their new country's language BEFORE you move. It will help them socially and pay off in a big way.


soooo true!
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Ruchel




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 30 2019, 6:37 am
More than a bit.
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amother




Brown


Post  Wed, Jan 30 2019, 8:02 am
So much depends on the child and the attitude of the parents. And choosing the right place to live that meets everyone's needs. We made Aliyah with several teenagers. Three years into it and it's the best decision we have ever made.

We are easy-going people and we approached it with the attitude of yes, it will be hard, but we are in it together.

Coming with a job helps.

The fact that you already speak the language is probably the biggest asset .

If you think moving will be good in the long run then do it. Don't wait.
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yo'ma




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 30 2019, 8:51 am
Everything amother brown said. We moved when the oldest was 8 years old. It was hard for them especially since they didn't know the language, but we all adjusted, even me. I said even me because while I adjusted I still want to move back.

My question to you op is, what does that mean if you feel it's too hard for your children? If you need to do it for parnasa, you won't? Even for your happiness? I don't know the ages or personalities of your children, but for the most part, children adjust.
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amother




Black


Post  Wed, Jan 30 2019, 1:05 pm
My parents moved countries (different language) when I was 8. It took me about a year to adjust, learn the language etc. It was hard in the first year but I'm really happy we made that move. It was much harder for my older siblings (12 and up) to transition.
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