Dawson's Creek star shares moment he knew he had to move kids away from LA

Picture: Instagram
Picture: Instagram 

James Van Der Beek has spoken out on why he had to call time on LA and how the family are adjusting to their new life in Texas.

The father of five said he and wife Kimberly wanted to give their kids space and the chance to grow up around nature.

Speaking with Today Parents, the actor and reality star said he was watching his son Joshua, eight, run circles around the house and knew he and siblings Olivia, 10, Annabel, six, Emilia, four, and Gwendolyn, two needed some open space.

"We were living on this tiny little lot with a tiny backyard," he told Today. "He seemed to be like an animal in a cage that was too small."

Three weeks ago, the family packed up and said goodbye to their Beverly Hills home, swapping the high-flying life for a slower pace – and a 36 acre property, in Austin, Texas.

"We're so happy right now," he said, "It's been really good for all of us."

"They're really interacting with nature. I love that we can open the screen door and they have all this room to explore."

As with any big move, the kids are finding some adjustments hard, he said, especially when it comes to their friends.

"We're three weeks in and they're starting to miss their friends. The permanence is hitting them," he shared.


"We aren't going, 'Yeah, but isn't this place great?' We're allowing them to express their emotions and giving them the space to be heard, and to be felt."


A post shared by James Van Der Beek (@vanderjames) on

In an Instagram post showing the family exploring their new area, the star also shared how personal tragedies in the last year had prompted a 'shift in priorities'.

"In last ten months, we've had two late-term pregnancy losses, each of which (Kimberly) in the hospital," he wrote, adding that his mum had also recently died.

"All of that led to some drastic changes in our lives, and dreams, and priorities... and landed us here. Overflowing with profound gratitude today."

Kimberly also spoke of the need for space ahead of the move. In an interview with podcast The Make Down, saying it was the right time for the family.

"I think we're in a time right now where people are wanting to ground themselves a little bit more into nature," she said.

"And LA has been a magical place for many years for me. So much life has been lived here. I'm going to go through a process to leave. I mean, I birthed three kids in the home I'm living in. But, you know, I gotta get out of the concrete jungle for a little bit."