Moving abroad is something that more and more people are doing today. However, there is no denying that it is not without its challenges, especially for those moving overseas with children. Moving to a new country can be the best thing that you ever do for you and your family. But you are going to have a few barriers to contend with before you can get to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. With that being said… In this blog post, you will discover everything you need to know about moving abroad with children. Including the top places to move to and some advice on helping your children throughout this big change in their life.
Where are the best places to move to for families?
Of course, you may have already made this decision. If you are moving for work, you may have no choice over the matter. However, if you are yet to decide where you are going to move to with your family, here are some of the best suggestions according to the Expat Insider Survey, which ranks countries based on different elements relating to expat life.
- Luxembourg – Luxembourg may be a small country, but it has a lot to offer expats. It ranks 8th in the world in terms of family well-being, and of those interviewed, 84 percent said they were satisfied with education options.
- Australia – With a 98 percent rating in terms of family life, it is no surprise to see Australia on the list. It also tops the chart in terms of leisure activities.
- France – France ranks highly both in terms of education and affordable childcare.
- Germany – Another European gem for families. Compared with the global average, expats are significantly happier with the education options in Germany. Germany also ranks 4th in the world in terms of quality of education, so it is a great option when considering your children’s futures.
- Singapore – Next, we move onto Asia. Singapore ranks 6th in terms of childcare availability and education, 4th in the world for family well-being, and third for quality of education.
- New Zealand – Friendliness of locals is important when moving abroad, and 91 percent of the expats in New Zealand that were interviewed rated this as a positive. New Zealand also received a 90 percent score. In terms of experts that were happy with their kids’ well being, and 83 percent were happy with the education options in New Zealand.
- Finland – Affordable yet high-quality education can be expected in Finland – a country that took the top spot for quality of education.
- Austria – Last but not least, we have Austria, which excels in terms of education and childcare too. Compared with the global average, Austria is way, way ahead in regards to education quality.
What problems do children face when moving abroad?
There are a number of potential problems that children will face when they are moving to another country. By recognizing these issues, you will be best placed to deal with them.
– They may feel worried and anxious about going to a new school.
– Have trouble integrating into a new culture and a new way of life.
– They may miss their friends and family members. It can often feel like they are grieving.
Addressing these issues is important. In terms of integrating into a new culture and a new way of life. You should also make sure that you do things that relate to your former life so that your child does not feel like everything is changing. For example, if you always play the same board game on the weekend. Make sure this is a tradition you continue once you have moved. It is also a good idea to create socializing opportunities for your little one. School is not the only place that they can make friends after all.
Some tips for moving abroad with children
Now that you are aware of some of the problems that your children may face, you now need to know what you can do to make the experience better. Here are some suggestions:
- Involve your child in key decisions – You need to make your child feel like they are included. This does not mean they get to decide whether you are going to be living in a duplex condo or a villa. However, you can get them to make some decisions relating to your home. For example, how their bedroom is going to be decorated.
- Avoid going home within the first year – It can be very tempting to take a trip back to your former home. But if you do this, you run a very high risk of unsettling your child. Further, because they miss their family and friends. The best thing to do is fully establish yourself in your new location for at least a year before you go back to your home country.
- Listen – It can be easy to ignore your child and their concerns because you have so many other things to deal with. From finding the best school to kitting out your home, there is a lot that needs to be done. However, your child is likely to be feeling lonely, and they will also have their concerns and fears, just as you do. Make sure you listen to your child and you pay extra attention to their behavior so that you can pick up on anything that seems out of the norm.
Some things to do with your child before moving abroad:
Before you move to a new country, it is important to involve your child as much as possible. Here are a few things that you can do:
- Firstly, do not make promises that you cannot keep. It can be tempting, but raising expectations way too high is a big mistake.
- Let your child help with the packing process.
- Talk about the forthcoming time as an exciting new chapter in all of your lives.
- Ask them to make decisions, for example, what toys they are going to take with them.
- Encourage them to learn about the place you are going to. From the fun things to do over there to the culture and language.
- Let them know your plans sooner rather than later.
Expat Child Syndrome
Expat Child Syndrome (ECS) is a psychological term. It is used to describe the emotional stress that is often experienced by an expat child. Not all children will suffer from this. Of course, but it is important to know about it if you are going to be moving abroad. ECS is most common in children that are between 10 and 15-years-old. ECS can show itself in so many different ways. So there is no set list of symptoms to be on the watch for, which makes it even more challenging. It all depends on the personality and traits of your child. As well as how the move overseas has impacted them. The best thing to do is pay attention to your child and their behavior to determine if they are not acting like themselves. They may, for example, be showing signs of seclusion and loneliness, withdraw themselves, or be more uncooperative or disruptive than usual.
It can be very easy to assume that your child is just playing up if any of the above happens because they did not want to leave their friends and move to a new country in the first place. However, your child needs support. For a smooth transition overseas, communication is one of the most vital components. Listen to what they are saying and talk with your child on a regular basis. Sometimes acknowledging the troubles your child’s faces and their feelings can make a massive difference.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding moving abroad with children and how you can make the process easier. There is no denying that such a big move is difficult for any family. Some children will take it better than others. However, if you follow the advice that has been provided, you can increase your chances of making sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible for you and your family. It is all about paying attention to your child’s behavior. Also about making sure that they are involved, and creating a stable and friendly environment around them.