Many families need to move abroad for a variety of reasons. You might be moving to a new country for work or heading into the ex-pat international lifestyle for personal reasons. Whatever your motivation, making this type of move with kids can be tricky. Luckily, with careful planning and handling of the situation, you can ensure they are happy and settled after the move has been completed.
What issues are there to deal with as an ex-pat family?
An international move brings about challenges that must be faced amongst parents and families alike. From the children having to leave their old friends behind and find new ones to the homesickness that a move can bring; it is a testing time for many families. There is also the shock of a new culture and environment to factor in that may be very alien to your kids. Moving is hard enough for adults, so you can imagine what a blow it can be to a child’s carefully ordered world.
Help your kids to embrace the move
If you are looking for ways to make life easier on your kids regarding the move, then the below should help:
- Discuss the move in advance – a lot of the anxiety that your children may find around moving is the loss of control and disruption to their routine. To help minimize this, talk to them about the move right from the start. Discuss where you will be going and how it will all work. This will make them involved in the move and provide time to process it.
- Research the new culture with them – if you are going to a place that has a totally different culture, then research this with your kids pre-move. That should include finding out the various cultural conventions and also starting to learn some useful terms of the language. This will see them more prepared and able to settle when the move happens.
- Think about their schooling – one of the prime areas to sort out is education once the move has taken place. The school your kids will attend is crucial, not only for their future prospects but also in terms of helping them settle into their new life. Many ex-pat parents who move to the Asian region favor using an international school for just that reason. Such schools eliminate the language problem and the qualifications earned will be relevant upon returning to the native country.
- Allow them time to adjust – when you do move, it is best to try to plan it for just a week or two before the children begin school. That will stop them getting bored or homesick and still gives you a chance to explore the new area with them and to feel more at home.
International moving with kids needs careful management
As this article has shown, moving on an international level with your kids requires some careful planning. Being able to properly manage the move will help your kids feel happy about it and also to integrate more easily into their new life. Although it will still be challenging, this will certainly make it easier on you all.