5/10/2019

4 Tips to Help Your Child Adjust to Living Abroad



Moving abroad can be an emotionally stressful undertaking, and it certainly requires lots of planning and preparation. There is no denying that this is a time of uncertainty and that you might even feel a bit frightened of what’s to come. Now imagine being a child who not only has zero control over the entire thing but also lacks the rational and emotional maturity to understand the reasons that have shaped your decision to move abroad.

If you don’t prepare your children for the road ahead, if you don’t find the right tutors for them to continue their education seamlessly, or if you don’t guide them through the lengthy adjustment phase, you will never be able to fully enjoy your new life. Here are the four tips to achieve this and build the life you deserve.

Go above and beyond to explain the situation

First things first, keep in mind that your children might completely understand what’s going on, but are refusing to accept it. This can be for a number of reasons, but your job will be to explain the benefits of this transition, and how many beautiful things await at the destination. If you’re a single expat parent, this will help you speed up the process and bring them over to your side.

Like grownups, children are driven by self-interest, and they respond best to an assurance of personal gain, emotional and psychological comfort, and physical safety. Use this to help them understand exactly why you need to move, and then continue to tell stories of all the wonderful things you’ll do as a family in your new home.

Find the top learning centers in the country

One of the most important tasks a parent has to tackle even before they move, is to find the right educational institutions that fit the age, talents, and interests of their child. It’s not enough to try to enroll them in a public school, because such a setting might be all wrong for their unique identity. This is why regions where many people are migrating to, such as Hong Kong, are quick to create learning centers tailored to every age group.
For example, parents with toddlers and crawlers should search for the best playgroup in Hong Kong that emphasizes sensory, physical, and creative play activities to unlock the child’s true potential and prepares them for the next phase in their journey. When the time comes for primary school, or if you’re moving with older children and even teens, it imperative that you follow the same mindset to find and enroll them in an institution that fits their needs. This way, you will easily get them to fall in love with their new home.

Acknowledge their feelings and respect their wishes

You might be the ruler of your household, but that doesn’t mean that your kids are not entitled to their opinions and their wishes, nor does it mean that they don’t deserve their voice to be heard. If you simply tell them the way things are going to be without at least acknowledging their point of view, you will invariably alienate them from the entire thing.

Once this happens, it will be extremely difficult to get them to adjust to their new surroundings. You will have difficulties with the smallest of tasks like getting them ready for school in the morning and getting them to adjust to the new school system in general, not to mention that your relationship at home will suffer as well. Hear them out, acknowledge their feelings, and strive to make a compromise.

Bring as much of your home with you as possible

Speaking of falling in love with their new home, it’s important to understand that children create deep emotional relationships with the things they spend time with every day. In other words, if you want them to adapt quickly and without stress, you should aim to bring with you the things that are familiar to them, as well as the things that make them happy.

Try to mirror your current interior in your new home as much as possible to make the transition smooth and enjoyable, like they never left. The comfort of these elements mixed with the new and exciting things that are happening outside will create the perfect backdrop for a smooth transition into a new culture.

Parting words

Leaving friends and family behind is tough even if you’re an emotionally mature adult, but it can be devastating for a child. Be sure to use these tips in order to plan your life abroad in a way that benefits your children’s emotional and psychological well-being.

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