Preparing for Expat Life
November 7, 2013
As an adult, it is a challenge to prepare yourself for the expat life, but for a child preparation is on a completely different level. In this article you will find useful tips and tricks to prepare your children, get them excited and feeling comfortable about their new way of life.
1. Explore the adventure
Basic preparation involves researching information about living abroad and specifically, your new home country. Remember to look for information that will appeal to a child. Make your move sound adventurous to trigger their interest, helping them feel excited rather than exiled.
Every parent knows that when raising a child, it can be hard to provide a healthy meal every day that appeals to them. This challenge increases when you move to a new country, especially when the local cuisine is very different.
To help avoid this potentially problematic situation, source as much information as possible, such as, common foods, markets selling fresh food, what kind of restaurants are available etc. With this knowledge, you can glean an understanding of what food, meals and local delicacies that your child likes. Now, you can explore how to create a variety of dishes with these new ingredients, demonstrating the new cuisine to your child in a positive way.
3. Stay in touch
Moving to a different place is never easy for a child; they have to leave their friends, and community behind. To reduce their sadness and disappointment, show them how easily they can keep in contact with their friends and loved ones, even from another country
To provide a good learning and development environment, finding a good school should be one of your top priorities. Research all educational options, including international schools, and discuss these options with your children. Besides criteria like academic standards and awards, other aspects need to be considered.. For your child, it is important that they can connect to peers, not feel left out or different. Placing them in a community where they don’t feel like outsiders will help them to adjust, and enjoy their new life.. Consulting your child will contribute to the best possible solution, and they will feel included in this decision about their own future.
5. Free time
Your child will also spend a lot of time out of school, so another top priority when preparing to move is researching activities they can take part in during their recreation time. Also, gather information about things you can do as a family during the weekends and holidays, which you all enjoy.
Although it’s hard to let your child experience such changes, the expat life creates many advantages, and will prove a positive experience for all of the family.