When we were living in Holland, we went back to Australia for a visit. On our way home, we stopped off in Singapore for a few days to break the journey. The kids swam every day, they had a great time with their friends and they loved the heat.
So touching down in Amsterdam in the middle of December was a bit of a shock to them. It was snowing and the first thing my daughter said was “When are we moving back to Singapore – it’s warm there!”
Now as it happened, during our trip to Australia we’d been told that the Dutch office was closing down. We now knew we’d be relocated back to Singapore around August the following year. Armed with this knowledge and a long lead time, we started planting the seeds.
“So, do you really think you’d like to live in Singapore again?”
“Yes, it’s warm there and we can swim every day!” Life was simple for my kids!
A few days passed, the temperature dropped even further…
“It’s too cold here, can we move back to Singapore, please…?”
“Well, I guess Dad could start looking for job there…but only if you think it would be a good idea.”
We had a lot of time to talk about a “hypothetical” move to Singapore. I reminded them of the friends they still had there, the things we used to do. We spent ages looking at old photos and helped them find information about Singapore on the internet. They became quite excited about living there again and that’s when we told them we could move there, so what did they think?
What I was trying to do was empower them, make them believe that they were making the decision to move, rather than forcing the move upon them. My ploy seemed to work and although they were sad to say goodbye to their friends (the last day of school was horrendous!), they were happy enough about moving.
The kids are three years older this time and more aware of what they’ll be leaving behind. And we don’t have as much time to ease them into the idea of moving. But this time we’ve bought the house and that’s when we started planting the seeds.