Moving to another country is an exciting and opportune prospect for the entire family although it can also be a daunting challenge, especially for young children. You as an expat family can expect or face a lot of problems and challenges if you move. Expats need to learn cultural nuances, mannerisms, customs, expectations, and norms. These things can be difficult to understand as an outsider.
With kids in tow, the challenge becomes even more “challenging.” With that said, here are a couple of ways you can make moving abroad as painless as possible for your kids
Inform them as soon as possible. It’s normal to feel like withholding this information from them so as not to upset them, but this approach results in an even harder transition later. Children require time to digest new ideas and adapt to the concept of living somewhere else. Explain why you want to move abroad, provide details, and ask them how they feel about moving to another country.
Check in with them regularly, answering concerns and assessing fears. Try framing the move in a good light, even if you’re feeling anxious yourself. Being positive will boost the likelihood that your child will feel optimistic and excited about moving as well.
Let them bring sentimental items. You can’t take everything with you and that’s a given. However, encouraging your kids to take sentimental items instead of selling, giving them away, or leaving them behind will give them a sense of autonomy and courage during this challenging process. Let them choose at least three of their prized possessions to take abroad.
Encourage fun learning. As we’ve said earlier, moving abroad is a fun and exciting opportunity, so make it look that way for your child so she can transition faster. For instance, you can purchase child-friendly language cards to start learning the names for things around the home. Showing your child that you’re also struggling with the new language will reduce her anxiety about moving abroad.
Find a good school. Depending on your child’s personality and situation, it can take a while to get settled into their new environment. If you’re keen on enrolling your kids to IB Schools in Singapore, particularly in the prominent curriculum like the IB primary years programme, then you can’t go wrong with recognized schools such as the Global Indian International School. Education is a primary concern for families moving abroad, but don’t worry, with so many changes at once, feeling overwhelmed is normal so your kids and your entire family are not alone facing these struggles. Best of luck!
Lastly, after the exhaustion of planning and travelling, the last thing you want to do is unpack your items. However, children must become normal again in their new environment as soon as possible. Therefore, setting up your new home immediately gives your child a familiar environment, easing fears about your new country. In as early as the first week, try to make everyone at the new home settled in. This includes having complete furniture and household items.
There you have it. Remember, do not rush when planning and take your time when adjusting to a new location. Be forgiving to your kids if they get stressed during the transition and became irritable and/or timid. It’s all part of the process.