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I know I shouldn't interfere......

(33 Posts)
kircubbin2000 Wed 05-Oct-22 09:52:09

Daughter's family have a nice little terraced house in central London. It looks quite adequate to me and apart from high pollution the area has all they need school and activity wise.
Her husband now thinks it would be better to move out to a more rural area where they could have a garden and perhaps bigger house for their money.
I think back to my childhood when my parents did this and I lost all my friends and familiar things. I won't say anything but I feel they are doing the wrong thing and will end up isolated and lonely.

Luckygirl3 Wed 05-Oct-22 09:56:06

I would do exactly as they are - there is no way I would bring my children up in a high pollution area. Your SIL is wisely taking the long view for the benefit of their health.

Just because you had a bad experience does not mean they will.

GagaJo Wed 05-Oct-22 10:04:44

How old are the children? That makes a big difference. If they're younger, they'll be fine.

However, there has been a move recently back into cities. The rural idyll is often seen as too remote and cut off and very lacking the opportunities provided by a city. Plus huge commute times for parents, leaving children with limited contact with at least one parent.

Deedaa Wed 05-Oct-22 10:05:00

My children spent 20 years living in a remote cottage in Cornwall and loved it. I once asked DS about it because it didn't seem as if we had done anything very exciting during that time. His answer was "Have I ever suggested in any way that my childhood was not perfect" Trees to climb, endless bike rides, what's not to like? And they had friends too.

ayse Wed 05-Oct-22 10:06:46

I was born in London in 1952 and apparently had lots of chest infections and spent time coughing. Eventually my parent were advised by their GP to move out of London. I was 3 at the time. I realise it’s not the same thing but for the children it would be far better for their long term health.

I know moving children can be difficult but the sooner it’s done, the sooner they can begin to settle. Personally I wouldn’t say anything and give whatever support you can whatever happens.

Blondiescot Wed 05-Oct-22 10:08:38

Country every time for time. Children are remarkably resilient and adaptable. They will be fine.

M0nica Wed 05-Oct-22 10:08:38

kircubbin2000 I think your experience was not particulalry common, although it could happen again.

If they now live and work in London, then they will presumably still be living in the near to London Home Counties, where so many houses are being built that families are constantly moving in and out and where high population densities, probably just mean they will be living in a large village or suburb. the children will go to schools where many other chldren are new comers. They will soon make friends and build up new networks.

About 20 houses were built in my village in the first 15 years we lived here. In the last 10 years about 300 have been added. Lots of new families moving from other places.

Callistemon21 Wed 05-Oct-22 10:27:58

Villages can be friendlier with plenty to do, especially if there is a village school.
However, it depends on the age of the children and whether or not there is a senior school within easy reach.
The parents might have to be prepared to be taxi drivers.

A small rural town might be the ideal but it's up to them.
You just have to ? and ?

SusieB50 Wed 05-Oct-22 11:02:55

My DD and family lived in London about 20 minutes away from me . 18 months ago they moved to the country to enable them to have a large garden and less mortgage. They also had lost a lot of money during the pandemic as they are both self employed. The children then 9 and 5 settled well into the local village school even that is 4 miles away , and are happy with friends in the small village, parents too seem to have adjusted well. But of course now they find they have less money than they thought to do up and extend the small house they bought,due to huge hikes in cost of living since the move, particularly the petrol .They have to drive everywhere even to school, no pavements so cycling is difficult as people drive fast in the country lanes. They cycled every where when they lived in London .No public transport not even a school bus . So the parents will be taxi drivers for years , and I worry now that essential work on the house is not completed by winter . It’s a very cold house set in a valley. Not my cup of tea at all. I also am not so sure that country children have more exercise, as it’s a car drive to all activities, so it always organised and paid for ,there’s no local park to scoot, cycle or kick a ball around just with friends . DD stated that they couldn’t afford to continue with swimming lessons as they can now both swim . I was determined they should continue so I’m paying for them . Country life is not all it’s cut out to be .( that’s an opinion of a life long townie of course)

Septimia Wed 05-Oct-22 11:15:54

We moved from a town to a village the other end of the country when DS was 9. He soon made friends at school - one he's still in touch with. The village children of all ages went around together and looked after each other. They played in the fields, helped the farmers and none of them suffered any harm greater than a broken arm.

Admittedly DS had to get the bus to school and we had to drive him several miles to Scouts and to play football, but we expected that. We had to drive the same distances to shops and GP.

Despite the obvious drawbacks (distance to shops etc) I couldn't go back to living in a town now. They're too noisy and smelly. Even visiting is a chore.

pandapatch Wed 05-Oct-22 11:22:46

Does your daughter agree with her husband?

paddyann54 Wed 05-Oct-22 11:25:48

My daughters family did this 12 years ago and they love it ,theres no way they would come back to a town.They have an amazing network of friends ,a youth club just minutes away and the primary school was right across the street from them

,Its around 15 miles to high school so an early start but the bus is at the bottom of the street ,they have the choice of going to a school in a different town but that involves a ferry crossing and the weather isn't always ferry friendly .
Support them ,I was a bit reluctant to see mine go ,its 35 miles away and daughter has health issues but its truly the best thing they could have done ,I'm so glad I didn't try to stop them

annodomini Wed 05-Oct-22 11:33:04

a more rural area doesn't have to mean a small village. There are many small towns where there are loads of activities for all ages as well as good schools not too far away, even good links to nearby larger towns or cities. I live in such a small town and there really is something for everyone, and green countryside is on the doorstep. Your son-in-law is wise to consider getting his family into a more salubrious environment.

Luckygirl3 Wed 05-Oct-22 12:43:15

And I would be thinking about their teen years in the jungle that is inner London - would not have wanted my teen children there - definitely not.

All 3 of my DDs were brought up in the countryside and simply loved it - there is no way they would have wanted to be in town. I was a bit worried when DD3's journey to secondary school was going to involve an hours' bus travel morning and evening. When she came back on the first day I tentatively asked whether the bus ride (well - 2 buses in fact) was OK and she said "Oh Mum, it was so beautiful!" She loved it - in winter the bus took her over the hills at sunrise on the way there and sunset on the way back - she treasured those journeys.

sodapop Wed 05-Oct-22 13:19:04

The opposite is happening here in France Gagajo people are moving out of cities into the countryside. Working from home and improved broadband speeds have helped. Covid seems to have been the driver behind this. Estate agents say they are having difficulty keeping up with demand for more rural housing.

Callistemon21 Wed 05-Oct-22 14:09:49

.^No public transport not even a school bus^ .

Susie the LA must provide transport to the nearest primary school for primary age children if the distance is more than 2 miles away for under 8s and more than 3 miles away for over 8s.
Unless, of course, they choose a school out of the catchment area.

kircubbin2000 Wed 05-Oct-22 14:13:27


Does your daughter agree with her husband?

Yes, as long as they can be near a river or the sea.

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 05-Oct-22 14:25:12

A lot of what Susie says is true, MzOops moved from Central London down to Cornwall, there is a school bus, but it stops at a nearby village so she has to drive them to the bus stop.

Admittedly they live in the middle of nowhere, a river over the lane, their own woodlands and they had an amazing childhood there.

Now they are teenagers it isn’t so good, one of the children has just gone to University and loves the town life, the other is at 6th form College and misses his mates that he can only see at weekends if my daughter takes him into town and then collects him, which isn’t always convenient. MzOops found working from home fine and is always busy either online or doing her many voluntary jobs.

We’ve always lived in the countryside and it certainly has its pluses but when the children are older it gets more difficult and nowadays more expensive., when ours were aged 13 and 11 we moved back (briefly) to our small market town, then moved back into the Countryside when they left school and had their own cars.

I imagine if your family are moving to a Village it will have buses and won’t be far away from a railway station, I’m sure they will love it and they will certainly be away from dangerous pollutants which is a big worry for young children and you will have a lovely place to stay when you go to visit.

SusieB50 Wed 05-Oct-22 14:47:46


.^No public transport not even a school bus^ .

Susie the LA must provide transport to the nearest primary school for primary age children if the distance is more than 2 miles away for under 8s and more than 3 miles away for over 8s.
Unless, of course, they choose a school out of the catchment area.

That’s interesting , my DD hasn’t mentioned it but maybe as she goes past the on her way to her place of work it’s not a problem. There is a school bus for the High School .
Don’t get me wrong they are very happy there , just think that it’s important to not look through rose tinted specs when contemplating moving into the depths of the countryside and it would not suit me !

Helenlouise3 Wed 05-Oct-22 14:55:09

I am so glad that I lived in a small town as a child and in a rural village for all my married life. I love my trips to the cities for short breaks, but could never live there. It really does seem like a rat race.

kircubbin2000 Wed 05-Oct-22 15:20:26

I dont think they will move to the middle of nowhere, probably a small town.

hilz Wed 05-Oct-22 15:41:21

Please try not to worry about it. Let them embrace change. Children can benefit from new friendships. These days young people socialise online anyway so may not feel it to be the wrench it was for you.
We encourage our kids to leave the nest and forge their way through life, so if, as a family, this is what they feel is better for them, they have to at least try it. Personally I would treasure a more rural lifestyle. I know others who would dread it. Missing the vibrancy of city life. We are all different and how lovely that they are in a possition make their dream reality. Good luck to them and best wishes to you too.

Shelflife Sat 08-Oct-22 02:38:13

Please don't worry , they will be fine . You seem to have had a bad moving experience as a child but I think that is unusual . Children adapt well to a change of location. All will be well.

harrigran Sat 08-Oct-22 09:06:25

DS lived in London for ten years after going to university there.
When he and DIL decided to marry they moved north to County Durham and bought a house in a village. They were able to buy a large detached house from the proceeds of the sale of their flat.
The children have to be driven to school which is thirty minutes away but their mother works close by so all travel together.
I was relieved when they said they would not bring up children in London.

biglouis Sat 08-Oct-22 10:00:22

Regardless of your opinion I would not express it unless explicitly asked for your advice. Let them make their own decisions and then if anything goes pear shaped you were not to blame.