If you’re moving abroad for a new job, then you may well be planning to take your family with you. While this is an exciting time, it can seem daunting for children whatever their age.
In this post, we’ll look at four tips to help make the transition easier (you can find out more in our free eBook The New Expat).
- Take a positive lead – As a parent, there’s no doubt that you’re the biggest influence on your children’s lives. That makes it doubly important to take a positive view on every aspect of the move, and really encourage your children to do the same. They’ll soon appreciate that moving abroad is a great opportunity to experience a new culture, meet new people and learn new things.
- Let everyone have their say – It’s just as important to discuss all the issues relating to the move openly. If your children have concerns, it’s best to get them out in the open as early as possible. Other expats have found that children are more open to moving if they feel they’ve been part of the decision and their views listened to.
A move abroad can often be particularly difficult for teenagers, who are likely to have close bonds with friends back home. Their social lives are likely to be very important to them, as will feeling like they ‘fit in’. It’s not uncommon for parents to underestimate the anxiety a move abroad can cause teenagers, so it’s vital to explain the benefits and be open about why the move is taking place.
- Get to know your destination – A little extra effort can really help get children settle into their new home. It’s always a good idea to get them involved in finding out about their new country from the start, even before you move. For example, you might want to organise some local language lessons and perhaps take a short break there in the months before the move. Similarly, once you arrive, make sure you have some activities that your children will love up your sleeve to help the transition. A theme park, water park or beach might be a good idea, if you’re moving to a sunny climate.
- Keep in touch – Many children, especially older ones, will be keen to stay in contact with friends back home. The good news is that it’s easier than ever before, using social networks like Facebook and Twitter. This is something to be encouraged as it will help them adapt if they are able to share positive things, rather than just saying they miss home.
How to find out more
For more information about making the move abroad, don’t forget to download our free eBook The New Expat which covers other family matters, accommodation issues, financial arrangements, medical considerations and much more from Now Health International.