So you have decided to make your dream of waking up everyday to the beautiful white sandy beaches of The British Virgin Islands a reality and you have found your dream home. Now for the tricky part – Moving with your children.
Overseas moving with children isn’t always easy. Nevertheless, if you have done some research and are completely prepared both you and your children can grow and learn from this experience.
Why Overseas Relocation with Children is Challenging?
children see their homes as the place in which they feel comfortable and secure, it is where they have school, family and friends close by. This is the place in which they learned their language skills and cultural codes. A lot of children will still be in the process of finding out how to socialize effectively, as well gaining a sense of control.
For children moving abroad is much like cutting the umbilical cord. In the middle of their learning process they’re going to have to start again: find new friends, get accustomed to a brand new home, neighborhood, school, country, become familiar with a new language and adapt to new cultural codes.
Relocating Overseas with children is difficult for you as a parent not only are you currently busy with all the errands, you’re also dealing with a roller coaster of emotion, excitement, fear, sadness. All of this can take its toll on energy and attention which can cause short tempers, induce chaos in the home, and in turn affect your ability to help your children.
Relocating Overseas with children – Important Things to remember
children might rebel – This is their way of trying to gain some influence in the situation which they cannot control.
Your children may have mixed emotions – One day your son or daughter might be thrilled and excited, then blue and depressed the next.
Responses from children will be different based on their developmental age – Moving with small children isn’t like moving with pre-teens or moving with teens and some might question if abroad moving and adolescents ‘go’ together?
children vary in personality – This influences the time a young child may take to adjust to the move. Some youngsters are naturally outgoing and have the ability to make friends immediately while for many other children it may take several weeks.
Special needs children – If your little one has special needs, it’s most important to check so that you know the education options and resources within the new location.
Being conscious of the down sides when you’re planning for overseas moving with children, and following some suggestions can make an optimistic experience for both you and your children.
Relocating Overseas with children – Advice for children of any age
Inform your child about the move as quickly as possible – Explain to them your reason for moving overseas, however don’t think you need to provide all the details immediately. Give them some time to digest this news, and consider it.
Communicate with your children at all times – Let your children feel that they can ask you anything they need to, answer all their questions as best you can. Be truthful and open as this will help your children to feel confident.
Stay positive about the relocating overseas – Tell them all about the new experiences, encounters and opportunities which will be available to them in the new country. Your children can sense the way you are feeling so if you are positive about the expatriate experience they are more likely to be too.
Let your children know that they can help with the moving tasks – children should get involved in packing and unpacking their own room. It may be a good idea to ask them to prepare their own special moving box to include all their own personal belongings they feel they might need during the move. Upon arrival in the new country you can ask your children to arrange their new room.
Help your children plan their goodbyes – Some would like to have a leaving party, while others may want to have a few friends over. Allow them to to exchange gifts, e-mails, telephone numbers, addresses etc.
In the destination country explore the new place – Take them to their new school, or kindergarten. Show them around the neighborhood. discover where the shopping mall and parks are, etc.
Overseas Moving with children. Recommendations for fun activities
To make overseas moving with children fun, relaxing as well as educating there are some activities suggested below. Depending on what age the children are will depend on what activity you think will be best suited.
Children Coloring Pages
Childrens coloring-pages If your child loves to color, he/she’ll love this particular activity, and you’ll get some spare time to focus on the moving abroad tasks. This is an excellent activity for children to complete on the flight. You will find many websites that provide free coloring pages.
Coin Collecting for children
This can be used as a hobby to help your children learn about the currency of the destination country, and the value of money. It is likely children will be intrigued by the change in currency.
The majority of you will be flying by plane to the destination country. For a lot of children this is their first flight. Why not take this opportunity to keep them occupied by explaining the history of flying and even build some model planes.
Cameras for children
Photography is a terrific way to get a children involved in the moving abroad adventure. What’s better than letting your children take pictures of friends, family and school? Or how about letting them take pictures of the new country and sending them back home. What a good way to keep in contact!
Scrap booking for children
Another fun activity for collecting memories is scrap booking. You may either do it as a family activity, or let your children scrapbook on their own or with friends.
Hangman, scrabble, crosswords, and many more exciting games are a very good way to rehearse your child’s vocabulary in the new language. You will find some good foreign language learning software’s that the children might enjoy.
Electronics for children
Children are becoming tech-savvy from a younger age, and the market offers a multitude of electronics for children from leapfrog items to Mp3 players, game boys, and ipods. Most of the electronics are educational, small, convenient to carry while offering hrs of great activities for the children.
Some children might discover that keeping a journal enables them to cope with the difficulties of moving overseas. It’s where they are able to freely express all their feelings, without the worry that they may offend anyone and knowing they cannot be judged.
Origami for children
This can be a great and educating craft for children, especially when you’re on the road. You just need papers, scissors, coloring pens and an origami instructions book.
Trivia for children
A great activity for families on the road. You can play it everywhere, and simultaneously your children are now being educated.
Books for children
Many books about moving overseas offer suggestions for families and children on how to cope with the transition. Some books are interactive and leave space for coloring, writing, pasting and many more activities. You should select a book based on your child’s age.
Geography for children
So what would be more appropriate than teaching your children some geography? Demonstrate to them where your destination country is situated. How far away it is from your home country, What the climate is like etc.
Audiobooks for children
Digital audiobooks are extremely enjoyable. You are able to choose together with your child a common story and download it for their MP3, Ipod device, computer or other wireless mobile device. Even when your child isn’t an enthusiastic reader, he/she will enjoy the spoken audio experience.