Time to catch up with another of my Australia and New Zealand magazine articles; this one appeared in their February edition. I’m really not sure why it has taken me so long to cover this subject, because I do know it is an issue that causes major problems for so many families.
It’s when the kids say no to a move to Australia. It can be a nightmare scenario. What can you do, as a caring parent, when you find yourself in this situation? Let’s look at the options.
When the kids say “no”!
You and your other half fancy moving to Australia for a better life. You apply for the visa, but you don’t tell the children about it. After all, nothing is definite, you might get declined, no need to worry their little heads at this stage. Then that wonderful day arrives, you’ve been accepted, time to tell the children.
They absolutely hate the idea! “What? And never hang out at the 7-Eleven with our mates again? No chance, we don’t want to come.”
Children under 10 years old are usually happy to go wherever you go, but older kids often don’t like change. The more kids you have, the bigger your problem, especially if you are thinking of waiting until they all are happy to say ‘yes’.
Kids change their minds frequently, it’s worse than spinning plates. So what do you do when the kids say no? Let’s take a look at how you can handle this situation.
Option one; brute force
“You’ll get on that aeroplane when I tell you to, otherwise your father will take his belt to you!”
This is no longer a politically correct solution. Beating children is frowned upon in the modern world, whether by belt, other object or even the back of the hand. This method was commonly used in the 60s during those £10 pom days, but no more. Avoid.
Option two; pandering
“Oh my little cherub, mummy and daddy would never do anything to upset you. We’ll just all stay here in the UK and suck it up just for you my little angel. Would you like some cake?”
As much as we all like to make our children happy, this is no solution at all. And it could backfire on you spectacularly. Imagine having this thrown back in your face by your now fully grown adult offspring at some point in the future.
“What did you listen to me for? I was only 12 years old! You’re the adult, you should have taken control! Now we are all stuck here instead of living the dream in Australia!”
How would that little chat make you feel?
Option three; you’re the adult, you take control
…as our fictional offspring suggested above. How?
Well, only you know your children, but here’s what I would do. Ask them to give it a go for 12 months and tell them you know they will love it. Promise them a better life in Australia and then deliver. It won’t be hard.
Take them to the beaches, the theme parks and get them involved in some of the many sports played in every school. Arrange play dates, or ‘hangouts’ as the older kids prefer to call them, by inviting their friends over after school. If you can, rent or buy a house with a swimming pool, kids love that.
Get them, and yourselves, involved in the community and above all, enjoy your weekends and the outdoor life. Crikey, drop them off at the 7-Eleven if you have to! Yes, we have them. Do whatever it takes and my bet is your kids will not want to return after 12 months.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, grab it with both hands, shape your children’s future, don’t let them shape yours.