Relocating overseas and adjusting to expat life can be stressful for parents, and even more so for children. Moving away from everything and everyone they know, starting at a new school in an unfamiliar country can be scary. However, there are simple ways to help your kids adjust to expat life and to thrive during this transition.
#1 Let them help choose a school
Moving to a new country is a tumultuous time for a child. So, giving them input in selecting a school will help restore normality and routine into their lives. Sit down with your child and research the perfect school for them in your new neighbourhood. Giving them some ownership in this decision will help them adjust, making the transition easier.
#2 Learn the language together
One of the most difficult aspects of relocation is a language barrier. To help you child overcome this, we recommend studying the local language together. This is a fantastic way to increase your child’s confidence and teach them a lesson about perseverance and persistence.
#3 Answer their questions
Moving overseas is stressful for adults, and even more so for children. After all, they’re leaving family, friends, school – everything familiar to them. So, ensure you answer their questions and quell their anxieties. A great way to do this is including your child in conversations about relocating. And, once you arrive, help them join a club or team and allow them to decorate their rooms.
#4 Help them maintain home ties
Living abroad brings new relationships and experiences for your child. But it’s essential to stay connected with home. A helpful step is to place your child’s friends’ contact information into an address book. You could also help your child create a photo album, documenting their favourite memories of home. And, for the ideal send-off, gather their friends together for an epic send-off party.
#5 Find a local expat group
Adjustment doesn’t happen overnight. So, it can be very helpful for your child to socialise with fellow expat kids. Find local groups or child-friendly activities, to help them forge new friendships and acclimatise to their surroundings.
For more advice on helping your family adjust to the expat life, call or email our friendly team at Expat Tax Services today.