The thought of moving abroad with kids is one that can strike fear in even the toughest of hearts. After all, moving house with your kids, even if it’s just around the corner, can be a huge amount of stress and hassle, so there’s no guessing how such a big change is going to affect your children. That being said, there is no reason why your kids can’t have an amazing life in another country. Your children are all different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to ease them into this change, but these tips should help to calm the stress a little.
1. Let Them Know Early
No matter where you’re moving to or why it’s crucial that you let your children know as soon as possible. Some parents avoid this for as long as they can, as they think that it will give their kids less time to be anxious, but what it actually does is give them less time to get used to the idea. If you spring such a big change on them at the last minute, it is going to cause some huge problems. Kids pick up on things, so they’ll notice that something is going on regardless.
2. Take Them On Vacation
Before making any big commitments or decisions, you need to make sure that you take your children on vacation to your chosen destination. This way, they can get used to the sights, sounds, language, and culture, take a look at a few potential houses and see the benefits of moving for themselves. Going on this trip also gives you the chance to get used to your new surroundings and decide, in no uncertain terms, whether this is a place you really want to live.
3. Research The Area Together
Whether you’re moving to Paris or Serangoon, there’s a lot that you need to find out before you can jet off, so make sure you get your kids involved in this process and give them their own research tasks and jobs to be getting on with. The things that affect your children the most, like school and local attractions, are the things that will be most important and interesting to them, so make sure they play a part in these areas. Make sure you’re positive about everything they find.
4. Give Them Some Control
One of the reasons why moving is so difficult for children is the fact that they have absolutely no say in the decision. Often, by the time you tell them what’s happening, commitments have been made, and there’s no changing your mind. This is why it’s crucial that you give your kids as much control as you can. Allow them to have their said on the house you choose, the area you live in, and the school they attend. This way, they won’t feel like they’re being forced into anything.
5. Break The Language Barrier
There are a lot of difficult changes to deal with when moving abroad, but one of the most challenging is definitely the language barrier. If you’re moving to a country where English isn’t the first language, you should do what you can to help your children pick it up, even if this means learning only a few basic phrases. Chances are, they’ll pick it up relatively quickly once you move, but this extra preparation will make their lives a lot easier in the first few days and weeks.
6. Speak To The Schools
When you move, your kids will either have to join a new school or be taught at home, but either way, this is a transition that they may struggle with. Because of this, you should make sure that you speak to their current school and see what they can do to make the change easier on them. You could also ask that find some way for the entire class to contact your kids on a regular basis. Doing the same with the new school might also make the transition less stressful.
7. Help Them Say Goodbye
Just like you, your children are going to have a lot of people that they’re going to miss when you move away. If you were just moving towns, then they could visit on a regular basis, but this won’t be so easy when you’re halfway across the world. Because of this, it’s vital that they have the chance to say a proper goodbye to those they love. Invite their friends around for a meal or a party and take plenty of pictures for a scrapbook. You should also help them to stay in touch.
8. Remain Calm And Positive
Understandably, this move is going to be stressful and hard on you too, but it’s important that you don’t let these feelings show to your kids. If your children see you getting upset and stressed, then they’ll start to panic and will feel exactly the same way. Instead, you need to try and remain as calm as you possibly can and constantly remind your kids of the positive things that will come from moving abroad, whether that’s a bigger bedroom, a cool new school, or a nearby beach.
9. Stick To Your Routine
However old your kids may be, they thrive on routine, which means that, when their routine is disrupted, it can cause a lot of stress and panic. Unfortunately, with packing, preparations, research, meetings, flights, and more, your routine could take a hit, but it’s essential that you limit this as much as you can. Make sure that tasks are completed around meal and bedtimes and hire professionals, like packers and movers, to cut down on the amount of work you need to do.
10. Expect An Emotional Rollercoaster
Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, there is going to be some stress and tears when you move, but there will also be a lot of fun and excitement. The emotional rollercoaster you and your kids go on is going to get overwhelming at times, which is why you need to be prepared for it. Make sure you’re constantly reassuring your children, spending time with them, and letting them know that you’re there to talk. Just try not to smother them, as this could make things worse.
Moving abroad with your kids won’t be easy, but, hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be able to calm the stress and have some fun.