Moving abroad can be a very exciting time for both adults and children in the family. However, if not prepared properly, children can experience a lot of stress when moving to a new place. At Crown Relocations, we have years of experience in this field and have discovered the best ways to make the transition for your children, and yourself, as smooth as possible.
As soon as you’re certain you are moving overseas, it’s important to let your children know so that they understand and have time to process the next steps. Keep in mind, if your child has never moved to a new house before, they may have no concept of the idea may not entirely understand at first. Depending on their age, here are a few ways you can explain the move to them so that they see it in a positive light.
- Explain to them the reason for the move whether it be; for your or your partners job, to be closer to family, to have a fresh start etc. This way the child has some context as to the reasoning behind the move.
- Paint a (hypothetical) picture of the new place, so that your child can begin to understand what it will be like. For example; if moving from Hong Kong to Canada, you may want to explain there will be colder weather with possible snow in the winter time – an exciting new change for the family to experience.
- Talk about the small things in the new home; for example – does the place have stairs? A fireplace? Is it a house or townhouse or maybe an apartment? If there are any changes compared to your existing home, try to paint them in a positive light for the child as something new and exciting.
- Encourage them to share their feelings. If they’re scared or apprehensive about the move, it’s important to reassure them everything will be ok and that there are many new exciting changes that will come with the new move. Whether that be a new school, new friends or the a new home with a new bedroom.
Make memories to last
This tip is beneficial for the whole family as it helps you leave your current home on a positive note. This may seem contradictory as you want to help your children to not miss the place, they’re currently living in. However, it’s very important to create closure before you leave. Here are a few ideas of what you can do:
- Visit your child’s favourite place in the area you live; this may be a library, park or shopping centre. No matter where it is, it’s important they get a chance to make memories in one of their first favourite places.
- Let your child have play dates/hang out with their friends before you make the big move. It’s important to explain that the friendship isn’t over, and they can still keep in contact via phone or social media. On that note, make sure your child gets the details they need off their friends to stay in contact.
Do some research together
One of the reasons moving to a new place is exciting, is due to the many new places you will have to explore. To add some excitement to the move, and to help get familiar with your new location, sit down together and do some research on the new local activities.
Depending on the location, these may include; libraries, parks, shopping centres, museums and even zoos! You can also research local cafes or places you will go to regularly so that you can both paint a mental picture of what daily life will look like.
Make the big day exciting!
In preparation for the moving day, in between packing boxes and finalizing contracts, take some time to prepare some things for your children on the day. If your children are small, this may be a package with their favourite food, books and toys to keep them occupied on the day. This is especially important if the moving day will include a long drive or flight as you’ll want to ensure your children don’t absorb the stresses of the move you may be feeling on the day, keeping them happy and feeling safe.