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Telling Your Family You're Moving to France

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 10 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Family Reaction Confidence Niece Nephew

Moving to France is an exciting new adventure for you. There will be so many new things to learn and see, with warmer summers and cheaper wine.

For your family, however, they will be thinking about whether you will come back for events, how often will they see you and who will now look after the elderly relatives?

Of course, your family is likely to be happy for you, too, they will understand that your new life in France is a great opportunity, but they will be thinking about the practicalities and the fact that they will be staying the same.

Different Reactions

When you start to plan properly your move and it goes beyond an idea into a real possibility, you need to be prepared to handle the different reactions from your family. You will need to be careful to not only talk about your plans, make sure you ask about their work and important events. This will help show that you will continue to be interested in what matters to them. It can be too easy to focus on your new adventure, which can upset and offend your family.

If you have kept your family up to date with your plans to move, it will not come as a big surprise, but if you have only been discussing your thoughts privately, it may disorientate your family for a while. This can be for a number of reasons – they may be concerned that you have not done your homework can could be making a costly mistake, be worried about the happiness of your children (their nieces, nephews or grandchildren, don’t forget) or be feeling jealous that you have the guts to make such as exciting change in your life, especially if they are not completely happy with their own circumstances.

Be Confident

If you project confidence about your new life in France, your family will feel more secure that you have prepared properly and are doing it for the right reasons. Comfort them in the knowledge that they will be welcome to stay, explain that low cost airlines fly to nearby airports and that you will collect them.

Tell Family Before Friends

Make sure you tell your parents and immediate family before you tell friends that may share your news before you have had a chance to or they will feel as though their views are not important. Your move will have a knock on effect on their lives, especially if you spend a lot of time with your family and have certain shared rituals. Be clear about how you will deal with your responsibilities in the UK, too, for example if you offer childcare to a relative or if you regularly help your parents with shopping or cleaning.

You Will Need Their Support

When you actually move, you will need the support of your family. It can be a difficult time as everything you know is turned upside down. Even if you have been well prepared for the move, have learnt as much French as possible and have completed all your paperwork, you will still be surprised at the upheaval. Bear this in mind when you tell your family about your planned move and in the months before you actually leave.

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