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Any relocation is a big change for everyone involved, but probably none more so than the children.Making it work for your children

The Wall Street Journal’s latest Expat blog entry provides guidance on how to make the transition overseas smoother for children and teens.

It focuses on the very real symptoms of culture shock that children experience. Rebecca Grappo, an international educational consultant, explains that these symptoms can take an emotional or even physical form; everything from depression and isolation, to physical ailments.

This paints a daunting picture of an overseas move as an event riddled with disconnection and withdrawal.

Joanne Danehl, Crown’s Global Intercultural and Language Training Practice Leader, says: “It’s important to remember that culture shock is felt by everyone – adults and children alike. It’s a shared experience that the family can discuss and support each other through.”

Joanne recommends to give children a voice as soon as possible in discussions about moving overseas. Provide them with an opportunity to discuss their concerns during an age-appropriate intercultural training session when they arrive in their new home.

“Intercultural training will help children gain some understanding of what life in the new location will be like,” adds Joanne.

Developing goals and a list of activities will also give the family something to focus on. And best of all, children will develop a global skillset, which will benefit them long into their adult career and personal life!

Joanne provides some more top tips for taking children on international assignments in last year’s edition of The Crown Focus. Download it here.

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