How to make moving abroad as easy as possible for young children
Moving abroad is an extremely exciting process, from accepting your job offer to securing your new residence. However, the exhilaration can be dampened if your children are struggling to come to terms with the move. Whatever the age of your child, there are things that you can do to alleviate the strain of moving on your children and replace it with enthusiasm.
Show your excitement
Older children may struggle with the idea of leaving their friends behind and moving to an unfamiliar place with a culture different to what they know and are used to. This can be difficult to handle at first, but if you remain positive it is more likely that they will begin to feel excitement too. When you reach each milestone, make it a celebration and try to engage your children in the celebration as much as possible. It may take some time, but eventually your children will begin to feel positive about the move.
Help them prepare with apps
If you are moving to a country with a different primary language, you can help your child learn the language with different apps. By associating the move with a fun yet educational game such as these will help your children prepare for their new surroundings and enable them to make friends much more quickly.
Duolingo can be accessed via a desktop or tablet and has 28 languages uploaded for you and your children to learn. One of the many positives of this free app is that you can access it without having to create a profile and offers a visual way of learning a new language.
Memrise is a platform better suited for older children and offers a wide variety of languages that include different dialects. The science behind their method of teaching includes elaborate encoding, choreographed testing and scheduled reminders to help you prepare for your move.
Give them decorating control over their room
Moving abroad means you will need to sort through your possessions and decide what is worth shipping to your new home and what needs to be sold or thrown away. Where possible, involve your children in this process to help them feel a level of control. Bring as much of their bedroom furniture, toys and other possessions as possible and give them the freedom to arrange their bedrooms as they see fit. This will give them a sense of ownership and belonging to their new environment.
Stay connected to their roots
The chances are when you move abroad that you will be leaving close family and friends behind. Platforms like Skype and Facebook has opened up so many possibilities of keeping in touch with people in your home country. It is also worth planning a return visit before you leave so that your children don’t feel like they will never see their friends or family again.
The important thing to remember is that children are resilient and adaptable and as long as you stay positive and excited about moving abroad, eventually they will too.