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Thread: How do I convince my 17 year old son to move to NZ?

  1. #1
    Cynthia Greenbush is offline Junior Member
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    Question How do I convince my 17 year old son to move to NZ?

    Please help. I would appreciate any feedback from anyone who has gone through the process of moving to NZ with older teenagers. My 14 year old son is happy to move but my 17 year old is adamant he is not leaving his girlfriend and friends. This is heart-breaking as we clearly cannot leave him but want to convince him of the positives. As a typical teenager he cannot see beyond the here and now and probably, in six months' time, will not be with the same girl, may be then up for the move and we will have declined a job offer in NZ. Our hearts ache as we fully understand that at 17 he is branching out, looking to buy a car etc and plan his life. He is currently in lower sixth form but has expressed a desire to leave and find an apprenticeship/train for a trade so we would not be dragging him from his studies. He does not recognise that in another year's time that all his friends will be going their separate ways, off to uni, whatever and that things at home will change.

    Any ideas would be appreciated because the fate of our family is in the hands of our son!

  2. #2
    Jof's Avatar
    Jof
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    Hi cynthia,

    Now that really is a tough question!

    While your seventeen-year old is still a child in your mind, he is at the threshold of becoming an independent adult.

    In my opinion any arguments you use, need to be arguments that you would use if you were trying to convince a fully independent adult.

    Of course there is a huge list of things you might be able to tempt him with depending on his interests, but this really isn't going to be a battle about one country versus another. It's the classic teenage scenario of dependence versus independence. It's a scenario where, though you might win the odd battle, you ultimately lose the war.

    There is no way as a seventeen year old I would have considered leaving my then girlfriend, even for an exciting new life abroad, but people are so different, it is very difficult to generalise.

    You're going to be facing some pretty hard decisions and probably even harder arguments, so I wish you the best of luck.

    Jof

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    Cynthia Greenbush is offline Junior Member
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    I appreciate your feedback and honesty and certainly take on board your comments about dealing with him as an adult - it's not always easy to do this as a mum and he will always be my child but you are right. Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jof View Post
    Hi cynthia,

    Now that really is a tough question!

    While your seventeen-year old is still a child in your mind, he is at the threshold of becoming an independent adult.

    In my opinion any arguments you use, need to be arguments that you would use if you were trying to convince a fully independent adult.

    Of course there is a huge list of things you might be able to tempt him with depending on his interests, but this really isn't going to be a battle about one country versus another. It's the classic teenage scenario of dependence versus independence. It's a scenario where, though you might win the odd battle, you ultimately lose the war.

    There is no way as a seventeen year old I would have considered leaving my then girlfriend, even for an exciting new life abroad, but people are so different, it is very difficult to generalise.

    You're going to be facing some pretty hard decisions and probably even harder arguments, so I wish you the best of luck.

    Jof

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    Jof's Avatar
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    Don't suppose you could tell me how to convince my 16-year old that he doesn't need a motorbike or that secretly drinking vodka isn't a good idea??



    Teenagers!!

    Jof

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    nickydwuk's Avatar
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    I had a similar dilemma when we were planning the move. Read this thread Reluctant teenager there are many more that I have contributed to regarding the same subject. There are many people in the same situation. My sons did finally come with me but we all ended up returning to the UK - but thats another story. The main thing is is to keep talking but not use bully boy tactics. Good luck
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    I did try to dig up some other old threads on the same subject, as I know we've had a few in the past, but drew a blank. There was one started by Julian a few years aog that I particularly wanted to find as, after a long drawn out negotiation period with his daughter, she finally agreed to go to NZ. I have a feeling he deleted it . It would be interesting to know how things panned out and whether his daughter did settle successfully.

    As has been said, this is a very difficult situation as it affects everyone in the family. Some very valid points have been made here and it all comes down to taking the horse to the water and then finding ways to encourage it to drink. One possibilty is to compromise by saying something along the lines of 'Come with us now but if, after xxxx amount of time, you don't like it, you can go back home'. That would, of course, mean that arrangements need to be put in place to cater for this eventuality. Maybe he could be tempted with the promise of a trip to NZ for his girlfriend when things are more settled, giving her a chance to explore another part of the world. Being apart from his girlfriend is a good way of testing the relationship to see if it will endure the separation.

    How long is it before you intend going to NZ? If it won't be in the immediate future, as you say, things could change at any point regarding his girlfriend and, once school is finished, many of his mates will probably disperse to find their own way in life and he could find himself alone and left behind. I doubt very much that his friends will put their plans on hold just so they can stay near him. It's the way things go at that time of life. If he were to agree to go to NZ, these days there are several great ways of keeping in touch with his pals in real time, wherever they are in the world. It needn't be the end of everything he knows. If they are true mates they will keep in touch anyway, no matter where he is but, if they don't, they won't be worth bothering with anyway. It's a time when a young person's life is given a good shake up and what he's left with will form the basis of his forthcoming adult life.

    I hope you will be able to work something out with him and wish you the best of luck with it all. Keep family discussions about NZ positive and upbeat and maybe some of that will sink into his mind. Dig up as much interesting info on the country as you can to help make it more attractive to him during these discussions without letting him know that it's purely aimed at him or he might feel pressurised Whatever the outcome, let him come to a decision himself rather than try to force him because, if he does decide to go and finds he doesn't like it, he could end up blaming you.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

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    Cynthia Greenbush is offline Junior Member
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    There are some very supportive comments here which are really appreciated. Thanks nickydwuk for the link which makes interesting reading. It's early days yet but knowing that our teenage son lives in his own selfish world at the moment, like many teenages I guess, we are toying with the idea of angling our talks around 'what's in it for him' approach as we suspect he cannot relate to our generalisations about NZ being a better place to live, pace of life etc. Good point Mother Bear about paying for girlfriend to come over at a later date. I never expected all of this to be an easy ride but the stress and lack of sleep has already started and we've not even told our elderly parents yet! Remaining optimistic though! Cynthia.

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    stanley is offline Member
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    What an awful position to be in. We brought our 16 year old son to NZ in Jan, he didnt want to come, but wasn't very vocal about it. Once we got here he was horrified about the school uniform, he had had 6 months of sixth form in UK. He actually haf tears in his eyes night before school and kept saying why did you make me come here, it was horrible.
    My idea was we would get here before school started, but with hindsight a day before would have been better.It was so hard watching him walk in first day at school, if i could have done it for him i would have, BUT he came out and we were going straight to view a house, we got there and him and hubby loved it, he was saying buy it buy it! i said that means we are staying, he was really up for it,what
    a relief it was, he made good friends that first day at school and has never looked back.
    My cousin emigrated and had same problem, you face, one of her 3 daughters had just got enaged, they did as MB suggested, they persuaded her to stay for 1 year, and they would pay for her fiance to visit, by the time he arrived he didnt compare to her new auzzie friends and went home early, engagement over, and she felt she had had such a lucky escape when she looks at her life in Oz compared to UK. It's a really hard one, because teenagers can't see past the here and now, mine wouldnt look at a single thing on he internet, and being a typical teenager, was pretty much anti every thing i said, to the point where i thought i'm actually going to turn him against NZ if i keep going on, so just backed down a bit, but he knew he wasnt old enough to stay himself and i said if he wasnt happy after a year, he could go back to England.
    I think for us it worked better because our son went to school and had tohave contact with other kids, think if we'd waited and he took a while getting a job, not meeting people his own age we would have been in trouble.
    I really hope things work out for you and your family, good luck with it all.

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    nickydwuk's Avatar
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    It is a hard period for them. We had 2 teenagers - one 16 & one 14. The older one had a girlfriend & had just finished school. He was quiet about it. My youngest was worst but as others had said we played up the positives such as skiiing, snowboarding etc... We never hassled them but it did help that both OH & I were singing from the same hymn sheet so to speak. It was a tough time but we had told them that we would return to UK for a visit after 2 years. I think that helped. In reality we were never able to afford the UK visit. Both boys loved NZ although youngest went to school and was not keen on the shorts but was ok. Although we are now back in the UK it was a family decision and not because they hated it. Good luck - contact me if you want to talk further.
    Nursing Registration sent 5th August 2007
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    ITA submitted 25th April 2008
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    Blue Stickers arrived 13th May 2008
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  10. #10
    Cynthia Greenbush is offline Junior Member
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    Smile What a difference a week makes!

    Great news - our 17 year old has changed his mind! We are over the moon and have started our EOI. Not sure exactly what was the deciding factor was but he did comment about a bad experience a couple of days ago - basically he went to look at a car for sale and ended up in a really bad area of Nottingham at night - he thought he was wordly but I think it shocked him. We come from a quiet village in the Derbyshire dales so clearly he found things a little different. He has since told his girlfriend and yes there were lots of tears but he remains positive. The stress hasn't gone away though as we are trying to crack on with the EOI, grab a paintbrush to smarten up the house and carry on with normal life and work but things are getting exciting. A huge thanks to everyone in support of our dilemma. I'm sure I will be using the forum again.

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