For adults, moving abroad can be quite a big step. You have new surroundings to get used to, new names and faces to remember, new friends to make and the small matter of adjusting to a new language. For some children the process of moving to another country can prove to be quite traumatic if not handled properly.
As children are growing up, they learn their way in the world by developing social skills, making friends and becoming accustomed to their surroundings. All of these processes help them grow so disrupting their development by upping sticks can cause problems if they're not helped along the way.
As we've helped so many families relocate around the world, we've seen what works for helping kids prepare for a big move. For those of you planning a move abroad with kids, following the tips we've listed below will help prepare yourselves and your children better for the big move. Of course every child is individual so following our tips exclusively might not work for everyone but we believe they're a good place to start for getting your kids ready for their new home and lives abroad.
1. Involve your kids from the start
To help prepare your kids, it's best to involve them from the start of the whole process rather than surprising them with the news close the the move date. If you let your kids know sooner rather than later, they'll have more time to prepare. It also gives you more time to get them ready and excited about the whole process.
2. Get them involved with organising their stuff
To keep your kids busy before you move you should get them involved with packing their own belongings and items. Not only will this help them take their minds off anything that they might be feeling down about, but it will make them feel much more involved in the move.
3. Let them arrange a party before the move
A week or so before you move, it can be nice to let your children organise a small party or get together with their close friends. This can be a great opportunity for them to exchange email addresses and phone numbers so that they can keep in touch with their buddies for years to come.
4. Treat them once you arrive in your new home
The first memories your children have of their new home can form a long lasting impression of what they think of where they live. By treating your kids with something nice like a trip to their favourite fast food restaurant or a day out sightseeing, will mean their first memories of their new home and country, will be happy ones.