4 Ways to Help Your Children Adjust to Life Abroad
There are plenty of reasons why people go to a different country to live and work. More often than not, parents bring their spouse and children along in the hopes of building a better life, gaining more freedom and comfort, and finding more available opportunities for the whole family.
Countries such as Australia which allow individuals who have successfully secured the appropriate visa for skilled independent migration to bring their family with them. With the Australian Skilled Independent Visa 189, the entire family can work, study and live anywhere in the country.
Once the proper documents have been gathered, and the arrangements for the overseas move made, the family can now focus on starting life in a new country. Admittedly, they may still find themselves facing a number of issues and challenges.
Moving to a new country can be tough. It can be especially hard on young children and teenagers who already have established relationships back home. Is there a way to make the transition to a different country and a new life easier for you and your family?
Immigrating with the entire family in tow can be daunting, but it can certainly be accomplished with positive results for everyone involved. When traveling with young children, there are things you can do to make it easier for them to adjust and thrive in their new environment.
Here are a few tips to help you get started.
1. Get them involved in the process.
One effective way to make the process of immigrating easier for your young ones is to let them participate in the move itself.
For instance, ask for their input and opinions before you start packing your bags.
Let your kids discover what the new country has to offer them. Say, if your kids like animals, you can ask them to find out what unique and interesting animals they can find in Australia. You could also make plans to visit parks and other locations where you can see these animals in real life.
Take their personalities and interests into account when making plans, and encourage them to participate in activities they may like.
Do your children like to dance or play sports? Look into clubs or places in your community that offer these activities. Let the young ones know about what you discover and ask them if they would be interested in signing up for classes or joining events.
2. Continue to celebrate traditions in your new home, while also embracing new ones.
Different countries have their own traditions.
In Austria, Krampus Night is celebrated during the first week of December. On this night, which is a mix between Christmas and Halloween, men dress up as Krampus, complete with bells and chains to scare naughty kids.
In Chiang Mai, Thailand, you can watch thousands of paper lanterns dot the sky on a night known as Yi Peng, which is often held in November.
It’s important to recognize the customs from your home country as well as welcome those in the place where you live now. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to celebrate your native traditions in your new home. The objective is to bring some of the fun and comforts of your former home along with you.
Celebrating your home country’s traditions is a great way to teach and remind your kids about your culture. Similarly, embracing new traditions can help your children enjoy and learn about their new home.
Participating in cultural celebrations are also a great way to meet your neighbors.
3. Organize events.
Depending on the age of your children, you could plan playdates, parties or similar events. It doesn’t have to be a grand celebration; the aim is to invite other families and help your child make friends.
Your child may not immediately make friends in school. Being in a new environment with kids from a different background and culture, it will be difficult for them to make connections right away.
These little gatherings and events you organize offer a way for your children to meet other children their own age. Plus, putting such events together will help you reach out and make new friends of your own.
4. Stay for a while.
When you move to a new place, there is a temptation to make plans to head back home and visit everyone you left behind right away. As comforting as this may seem to be, going back too soon can make the transition to your new residence harder for you and your family.
Aim to stay for at least a year in your new home before going back, even if it’s just for a short vacation. Give your kids time to adjust to their new environment and make a few new friends. A year should give you and your family enough time to settle in and adjust.
Kids often emulate what they see in the adults in their lives. By making efforts to adjust and settling into your new environment, you are encouraging your kids to do the same.
Moving to a new country requires effort from the entire family. Consider adding these tips to your moving checklist to make immigrating to a new country smoother and less stressful.
Bevan Berning is an Immigration professional and owner of Pathway Visas, an Immigration Agency dealing mostly with skilled immigration to Canada and Australia. Bevan’s enthusiasm for the industry has kept in the Immigration field for the past seven years. Bevan is South African by birth and has been residing in Dubai for the past eight years.