Moving to a different country is a huge adjustment for children. The new environment can feel unfamiliar and sometimes even overwhelming and being a long way from home for the first time can be stressful.
There are many steps you can take to support your child during the process. This includes keeping them involved in decision making, sticking to a routine, and decorating their bedroom to create a fun space.
Continue reading our blog for more detail on how to help your child adjust to life abroad.
Moving can be a time-consuming process, with routine often forgotten while you’re busy organising everything. Having a routine can make your child feel more at home and establish a sense of normality.
This could consist of ensuring you spend time together as a family, such as going on a bicycle ride at the weekend or watching a movie. This allows you to be present with your loved ones and fully appreciate the moments you have together.
Try introducing new activities into their routine as well, as this will enable them to learn more about the destination’s culture. For example, you could take them to watch the country’s national sport or enjoy a meal at a restaurant that specialises in local delicacies.
Though it might be difficult at the start, keeping your child’s day as normal as possible is important. This may involve making sure meals are scheduled for the same time every day or sticking to their normal bedtime routine. All of these measures can help make the transition to life overseas easier for your child.
While building a life abroad with your family can be stressful and takes time, expat life can have many benefits for children. Have a read of our blog to learn more.
One way you can support your child when first living abroad is to decorate their bedroom. Include them where you can in the decision making so they feel included.
Prioritise organising this space when you move in, completing tasks like unpacking belongings and filling the room with furniture. Your kid will then have access to their favourite belongings and can start to feel at home in the space.
Try and make the process fun as well – you could let them choose their own bedroom when they first see the property, or ask them how they want it to be designed. After all, your child will be spending a lot of time in this space.
When you start decorating, why not take them along to pick out paint colours and allow them to choose some furniture? Make sure to include mementos from back home in the bedroom to help prevent homesickness.
Leaving behind their life back home is difficult for children when relocating overseas, so helping them find new friends and activities can make a lot of difference.
There will be plenty of opportunities for them to take part in extracurriculars in their school, while also being a way to make friends with other children. It also gives your child something to look forward to every week, as well as keeping them active.
Once they’ve started at school, you could organise playdates with new friends. They can then get to know fellow students outside of the school environment and create special memories at home.
It’s important to stay in touch with loved ones back home to maintain these connections. Schedule weekly video chats with family to catch up on life and maybe plan a trip to the host country.
When moving abroad with your child, keep them involved in discussions and planning. This decision impacts their life as much as yours. It is important to take what they think into consideration so they feel listened to.
If you can, visit potential schools with them before you move. Include them when you choose an educational facility, giving them space to share their opinion. There are often many schooling options open to expat kids, whether this be an international school or a local one.
Ensure you take time out of your day to chat with your child and see how they’re doing. This provides them with an opportunity to ask questions and share any worries they have.
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