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  • 2 Post By carang

Preparing kids for "goodbyes"

  1. #1
    penguinsix is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Preparing kids for "goodbyes"

    Just got the word from some close friends in our building that the reassignment orders have come through and they'll be leaving in about a month. They have two kids the same ages as ours, and basically have lived like our extended family throughout most of our stay in Hong Kong (meals together, nanny swaps, day trips, etc).

    And now my kids have to say goodbye.

    Since this is probably a 'been there, done that' of many expats, I was wondering if anyone has any tips to help prepare the kids for the fact that their 'best friends' will soon be thousands of miles away?

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    nope, just say they are moving away... xx has a new job! aren't they lucky! could even look up the place they are moving. don't make a massive deal of it, that will only make it harder. make sure you get skype addresses etc, so that kids can still communicate if they like.
    thanka2 and satay sue like this.

  3. #3
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    May 2009
    Really agree with carang--especially if your children are small--it's better to give it a positive spin because most small children will recover pretty quickly when friends move away unless their parents make a big deal out of it. It's more of a big deal for adults, I think but if you don't let that taint it for your children things should go by pretty quickly. They may still ask about their friends but as carang said that's when you set up a Skype "date" for them or make a fun project out of writing letters and sending a care package to them. But, only do that if the children initiate it--if they are interested in keeping in contact or inquire about their friends--I wouldn't force it.

    If you plan to be in HK for a longer period of time chances are the "saying goodbye" thing is going to be experienced by you and your children many, many times. Last year alone we had to say goodbye to probably three closest friends in Hong Kong. All of them families from North America with small children whom we had spent considerable amounts of time with (babysitting their children, them babysitting ours, going on outings together, turning to each other in times of trouble/stress/need). I still feel the emptiness without their presence here but my son has 100% moved on even though he was super close with some of them. Such is HK life. :(
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  4. #4
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Oct 2007
    North Point
    My daughter's "best friend" moved away late last year and it was sad, but kids just take it in their stride. She knows now that her friend lives in Singapore, and we went to visit her - she still talks about her all the time and she does miss her, but to her, that's "normal". It's probably harder on us parents than it is on the kids.

    I agree with the advice posted above - be honest with them, but don't make a big deal out of it. They'll pull through, and that is one of the sad facts of life here in Hong Kong!! Best they get used to it sooner rather than later.

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