An international move can be a difficult process. In addition to the steps required to complete the move, culture shock can sometimes arise to complicate matters further. If you are a parent with young children, the moving process can be very trying for them. Your children will need time to make a lot of adjustments, including learning about a new culture and its customs, new foods, perhaps a new language, a new school, a new home and making new friends. Here are a few tips to help your children make the transition to living in a new country.
Take time with your children to learn about your new home
Fear of the unknown can be stressful for an adult, and it’s no different for children. Helping your children become familiar with the country that will be their new home will make the transition easier and help ease their fears. Spend some time researching your destination and talk to your children about it often.
- Visit expat forums and discuss with parents who are living as expats in your new home about what life is like there. That’s a quick and easy way to gain some insight that you can share with your children.
- Try some of the cuisines of the country you’re moving to. Trying some of the dishes that are the favourites of people born and raised there may assist your children to adjust to the tastes, textures and smells of the local cuisine before they move there.
- Show them pictures of your destination. Pictures of interesting cities, famous landmarks, natural scenic views and anything else unique about the country will pique your children’s interest and hopefully lead them to want to know more about the country.
- If you’re not moving to an English-speaking country, try to learn a bit of the language. There are many language tools and books available that are geared towards children that can help them gain some understating of the country’s language. Since you also need to learn the language, this is an opportunity for you to practice it with your children.
You may have some concerns about moving to a new country, but it’s important to remain upbeat with your children when discussing the move. Children absorb any emotions they’re exposed to like sponges, so if they sense you are worried about the move, they will also feel the same way. Talk about how exciting the move will be and focus on the aspects of the move that you think will excite your children the most. For example, if your children enjoy going to the beach and your destination has world-class beaches, mention how much fun they’ll have exploring those beaches.
Finding the right school
Your children will be concerned about where they will attend school after the move, so it’s crucial to research the schools in your new country to ensure that your children will attend one that has qualified teachers and an advanced curriculum that meets their needs. Also, you should determine if there are any differences in the educational system from what your children currently experience, such as year-round classes or weekend classes, and discuss those differences with them so they’ll know what to expect and make it easier for them to adjust.
We offer a range of in-depth education guides for our most popular destinations:
- Education in Australia – A UK Comparison
- Education in Canada – Expat Guide
- Education in Cyprus – Expat Guide
- Moving to the USA – A Guide for Expats
- Moving to New Zealand – A Guide for Expats
- Moving to South Africa – A Guide for Expats
- Moving to Singapore – A Guide for Expats
Keeping in touch with friends and family
Your children may worry about keeping in touch with friends and family, so reassure them that social media, email and Skype will keep those relationships going strong while you’re away, especially since they will have the experiences of living in a new country to share. You might even plan a farewell party so your children can say goodbye to family and friends before they go. If your children help you plan the party, that could serve as a fun way to distract from the stress of the move.
For more information, check out the guides linked above, or if you’re planning your move overseas and looking for a trusted removals company, get a free quote with us today.