Moving from one destination to another is not easy for us adults, imagine what effect it has on our kids. Make sure you involve them in the process.
Here are some helpful ideas that can help ensure a smooth and happy relocation:
1.) Before the move
Together with your child, learn about the new place you will be living and what to expect. Read books, look on the internet or contact the tourist board of your new country. It is very important for children to be able to say a proper goodbye to one place before arriving in another; in fact, many people feel that if you don’t say goodbye properly you’ll start off on the wrong foot in the next location.
2.) When you arrive
When arriving in a new country, be sure to help your child settle in quickly. Making friends is often the most pressing issue for a child. So be proactive and invite the neighbours’ kids over to play or arrange for a classmate to come over after school. Maintain strong ties to your home country. Keeping in contact with friends and family through letters, email and parcels or other items is a great idea. Preserve the festivals and special occasions you had back home – and share these things with your new host countrymen. Keep traditions in your own family alive by maintaining routines.
3.) Going back home or moving again
Make sure you keep items that represent your time in the country you are leaving, to remember it by. Keep photos, jot down memories, keep postcards and other information on what you visited and saw in your new country in a scrapbook. Look back at the places you have lived, including your home culture regularly. Ensure that you allow a time for sadness and sorrow, but with the happy expectations of a new adventure to come.
When returning back home to live, remember you and your child will have changed and grown in many ways. Be prepared for “reverse culture shock”, where your child may complain no one understands them and how they feel. You can help your child by being available for talks, remembering the places you’ve been and discussing your feelings about coming home.