If you have recently started planning to move abroad in the search of a better life and more opportunities for you and your children, there are some things you need to know before you start planning the whole process.
A house move abroad is a big challenge for everyone involved, but especially for your children. If it’s them you are mainly doing this for, then be honest about your plans and reasons when you first announce the big news. If the life abroad will bring more safety, a bigger home and a bigger income to the family, then even the youngest of children should be able to understand this.
You need to focus on communicating the move in the best possible way to your children. The relocation will mean a new school, a new home, a new neighborhood, new friends and a whole new lifestyle. The children might have to learn a new language just to be able to communicate and this will be a serious challenge. The family will have to adapt to a new culture and lifestyle and accept the changes in terms of housing, commuting and work.
When discussing the house move, try to list the benefits of the new location and explain that it’s the best decision for the family in the long run.
You need to be prepared for a variety of emotions, regarding the move. Children get frustrated, sad and angry; they refuse to speak, argue with their siblings, refuse to help with the move, skip school, avoid their parents and give up their hobbies. Any of these is a sign of a disruptive behavior which needs the parent’s immediate and full attention.
Whatever you do don’t fight with your child – psychologically you can reach your child by being understanding, helpful and ready to talk to them anytime they want. Don’t try to interfere in their daily routines though. Let them pack their rooms for the move without you interrogating and going through their belongings. Children, even younger ones, care about their privacy and they need space just like adults do.
Once you move abroad, it will take your children between a few weeks and up to several months to adapt to the new location completely and accept the changes. The faster they go back to their usual routine (school, homework, sports, hobbies, etc.), the faster they will adjust. Understand that your child might not appreciate the new city and the change of surrounding in the very beginning, but they will with time.
As a parent, it’s important to stay positive about the new things and be patient and supportive. Children tend to mirror their parents’ moods, so you need to set an example. Follow these useful tips and you will be much better prepared for your move abroad.