If you have decided to move abroad, you probably have a million things to organize and plan. However, it is likely that regardless of how busy you are, you are wondering and worrying about how the move is going to impact your children.
If they are very young, they most likely won’t be affected, but it can be a little trickier if they are of school age. The older they are, the more of an issue it is likely to be, so it’s a good idea to put some things in place along the way to make the transition easier for them. Doing so will also give you peace of mind and could save you a lot of sleepless nights.
Here are 5 ways to make the adjustment of moving abroad easier for your children.
Tell them and show them lots of information about their new home
If your children are older, they may be experiencing feelings of fear and apprehension because they do not know what their new life is going to be like. One thing that can help alleviate these worries is by spending time with them researching your new home town.
Take to the internet and watch videos of local and nearby attractions, trawl pictures of landmarks and local places of interest and do some research about the local history. The more information they have and the more interesting they think their new home town is, the more likely it is to put their mind at rest.
Visit if you can
If you are moving abroad from the USA, the process can take a long time, so, if at all possible to do so in the meantime, arrange a visit to your chosen destination. This may not be feasible due to the cost and the logistics, but if it is, it could make the process far easier. Although it will feel more like a vacation, that isn’t a bad thing where kids are concerned. It will give them some time to take in their new surroundings and will make the place far less alien to them when the permanent move happens.
Show them the school and local neighborhood and try to have a bit of fun while you are there. If they know it’s nothing to be scared of, and they no longer have to only imagine what it’s like, they may even become quite excited about the idea.
Arrange regular contact with their friends and family
One of the most significant issues for kids is coping with the life they are leaving behind. They may feel like they will never see their friends again or be able to talk to their family often. Thankfully, technology these days is so advanced that it doesn’t matter where you live, you should be able to make regular contact. If possible, talk to your children’s friends’ parents and try to agree on a schedule for them to have group video chats or speak on the phone. The chances are that their children will struggle with their friend leaving too, so it will be beneficial for all of them.
Arrange the same thing with family so that communication becomes a regular occurrence. It will help your children feel more at home and create a lot of excitement when they can tell their loved ones about their new home and surroundings.
Look into local clubs and social opportunities
If your children are used to taking part in clubs and regular activities each week, it’s a good idea to find similar things in your new area. Although you will probably want to give them a month or so to settle in, it’s wise to have activities lined up. Not only will it get them back into a good routine with sports and hobbies, but it’s an excellent way for them to meet children with similar interests and of a similar age. They may feel a bit shy at first, but after a few weeks, they will probably be eager to attend.
Let them decorate their space in their new home
If you are renting a home rather than buying, this isn’t as easy, but if you have purchased it, it’s a good idea to ask the kids how they would like to decorate their new room. It will give them something else to focus on and help make your new house feel like a home to them.
Let them choose color schemes, furniture, and accessories and try to make the room feel as special as possible. If they like their surroundings, it will make it far easier for them to settle in, which will, in turn, make things a lot easier and far less of a worry for you.