Early involvement of the whole family helps
Younger children who are in school may be understandably reluctant to leave their friends, activities and familiar surroundings to go to a strange new country. Help them understand why you have decided to move and how it will benefit them. Involve them in the planning details, and let them help make small decisions.
Share photos and information about the new area and recreational activities available for children or teens their age—especially activities or sports they currently enjoy. Let them know there will be plenty of fun things for them to do.
Older children and teens may enjoy doing their own online research and learning about the most popular spots and activities. Reassure your children that they will make friends quickly, and that they can easily keep in touch with old friends through e-mail, social media and talk live via Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services.
We're all in this together
It can be helpful for younger children to know that they are not alone in their concerns. Encourage them to ask questions and share their fears. Let them know that you also are wondering what it will be like, that you are a little bit nervous too, but that you will all be together and it will be an adventure.
Take advantage of resources available to help find the best schools for your children overseas, to let you know which documents will be needed for school records, and to facilitate the application process so that your kids arrive ready to start.
Be sure to consider factors such as language differences, cultural adaptations and class sizes. If your child is used to a small school, he or she may feel even more overwhelmed in a foreign institution with thousands of students. Many countries have international schools which offer instruction in several common languages. Crown can connect you with helpful, trustworthy resources to find the best options for your family.
Allow your children to take favorite toys or belongings along, and even keep one during the trip. Give them time to get used to their new surroundings, and help ease the transition by placing familiar items in their bedroom and around the house. Take them along when you explore the new city. If you can, visit the new school and meet the teacher before classes begin to help your child feel more comfortable.
Crown has been helping families relocate abroad for decades, and we understand the challenges. We have a great children’s program with a range of tools to assist parents through the transition. In addition, our Kids Connection website features games and moving information specifically designed for children. It is created particularly to help young children adapt to the moving process and new environment. Let us know how we can help make your move smoother for everyone.