Being offered the chance to bring your family with you when you move overseas is an opportunity that is too big to pass.
When you relocate with your family, you won’t have to worry constantly about them since you can’t see and be with them every day.
Additionally, when you have your family with you, adjusting to your new work and home can be easier since you have your loved ones with you for support and encouragement.
You will have each other to lean on regardless of the challenges you will go through.
Although moving overseas with your family offers several benefits, do not assume that the relocation process will go smoothly, especially if you have children.
You and your loved ones will still have to face several challenges, some of which you have to overcome before your flight.
Getting Ready for a Move Abroad with Your Children
Regardless of their age, children will feel some reluctance to leave their home, friends, and school behind. This emotion can cause them to hate the thought of moving and become difficult to deal with throughout the whole relocation process.
Preparing your children sufficiently before your move will help you avoid plenty of difficulties. Moreover, you will ensure that they are in a good mental and emotional state when you arrive in your new country of residence.
Below Are Some Tips for Preparing Your Children for a Move Abroad:
1. Discuss your Move and Plans with your Family as Soon as Possible
Once you have decided to relocate to another country, speak with your family. Include everyone in your family meeting, even your young children.
An international move is a massive change for a family. The entire process is stressful for anyone, including children. Being honest about the relocation from the start can help everyone alleviate their stress and manage their expectations.
During your first family meeting, explain in detail why you made the decision to move abroad and why everyone should join you. Discuss with them the expected flight date, your plans after the move, and what all members should do in preparation for your departure.
Throughout the discussion, encourage your loved ones to ask questions about your plans. Be honest, patient, and calm in answering them, even if they keep asking the same things.
Lastly, encourage everyone to share their input or suggestions regarding the move. For example, if your children want to have a going-away party, make sure you include this in your timetable.
2. Set Clear, Realistic Expectations
Although it is crucial that you paint a positive picture of your destination and what will happen in the next months, you have to avoid exaggerating. Also, avoid making promises that you can’t keep.
When you make exaggerated statements and promises you can’t keep, you will end up disappointing your children, which will affect their behavior during and after your move.
Start by making clear lists of what your children can and can’t bring. Additionally, if you already have a prepared accommodation, give them actual details. If some of your kids need to share a bedroom, tell them immediately. Avoid saying that they can have a room each when the house only has two or three bedrooms.
Also, when answering your children’s questions, avoid overly elaborating and making up stories. The key is to share facts that they understand and can give them some reassurance.
3. Get Everyone Involved
Encouraging your children to participate in all stages of the process can help them process their feelings about the move. This way, they can arrive in your new home with a positive outlook.
Start by creating a moving schedule with them and discussing all the things they have to do to prepare for the move. These include deciding which items they can sell, donate, give away, or throw out. Ensure you talk to them about the importance of putting plenty of time into packing as well.
Allow them to do all these things so that they can feel more excited about relocating.
Also, ask them how long they need to complete all these tasks so that they will feel more involved in this preparation process and won’t feel rushed.
Another moving hack to keep in mind is to create a timetable for them to complete all these chores and ensure that they follow it to prevent rushing and all the chaos that comes from it.
Whatever stage you are at in the relocation process, ensure you let your children have a say in everything. Also, allow them to make decisions on their own, whenever possible.
4. Get to Know your Destination With your Family
Knowing some things about your future home can help you lower your anxiety. Doing this with your family will enable everyone to feel more confident and prepared to take on all challenges.
Also, researching your destination will allow you and your family to know what to expect when you move. You will then be able to make plans that will help your kids to deal with all possible difficulties.
Researching is easy since you can find plenty of articles and information about your country of destination on various websites. Additionally, get details about the specific city and neighborhood you are headed to with your family.
You can also join forums and ask other ex-pats regarding their experiences and for their advice.
Looking up the information online with your children is an excellent way to learn about your future home. Watch documentaries or travel shows about your destination and talk about what you saw with them afterward.
Ask your children what they are most excited to see in their new neighborhood. Encourage them to tell you about things that may be causing them to feel anxious, too.
You can also ask about the cultural training services provided by your relocation specialist that you can join with your family so that everyone will have a clearer picture of your future home.
5. Host a Farewell Party for your Children
Lastly, it is crucial to let your children say a proper goodbye to the people they care about and will leave soon. These formal farewells can help make it easier for them to go to a foreign country and start a new life.
A few days before your flight, host a going-away party for your kids. Invite their classmates, friends, and other people they will miss when you leave.
To make the party more unforgettable, ask the guests to bring small souvenirs they can give your children. These simple but treasured tokens can remind the young ones of good things about their previous home.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to throw a big party. A simple gathering with some snacks and beverages can be memorable as long as you invite all the people your children care about and will truly miss.
Helping your children handle an international move is crucial. When you follow these tips and continue showing your love and support before and after your relocation, you and your family will experience a smooth, successful transition.
Lee Brewin is the CEO of BTR International, one of the UK’s premier corporate relocation companies. Providing services that facilitate companies to aid their employees to move and settle down in their new country of assignment, BTR International is all about taking care of people, simplifying business, and bringing optimal efficiency.