Moving is difficult enough if you’re staying in the same country, but if you’re moving to another country, for example to America from the UK, the task can be even harder. When you have children to consider you have to deal with their personal emotions, excitement and anxieties, as well as your own. You have to organise the move, complete all the paperwork and applications and find suitable housing, schools and healthcare for when you arrive. Then you have to cope with ensuring everyone is happy. It’s certainly not easy but there are things you can do to help everything go smoother.
Saying a proper goodbye
There will be places in the town that your children are already emotionally attached to and they will have happy memories that they cherish. You can help your child by showing them you understand why they are sad to leave behind their favourite places. Take them to go and say goodbye, take a camera so your child can capture their favourite spots and explain that they will have the photos and memories even though they are living in a new country.
Involve the children in the planning
Your child will feel a lot more confident if they know what’s happening. It’s not a good idea to spring the big decisions on them without discussing them first. Involve them in the process right from the start. Ask for their opinions; show different houses and pictures of towns or parks and schools and ask them to pick the ones they would like to go and see first. When you arrive in a new country always bring them along with you when you’re looking at houses and keep them in the loop.
Encourage talking and keep communication lines open
One issue many children have about leaving their home town is saying goodbye to friends and worrying about making new ones. This is a difficult subject to deal with as there are no solutions. They are going to miss their friends and will not see them again for a long time, if at all. Therefore, all you can do is be understanding and encourage your children not to lock their fears and sadness up inside. Distract with exciting facts about your new home. Use the Internet so you can virtually explore zoos, theme parks and malls, local clubs and sports teams and learn about the sports in the area and natural wildlife.
You might be tempted to throw out all their old toys and books in the move but the decision shouldn’t be yours. Ask your children to decide what they want to take. You may keep certain items such as toys in storage first, but when you are ready, you can send the belongings over in a parcel. Being able to place familiar items in their new bedroom or playrooms can be extremely reassuring. Once in a new place, encourage your child to decide how they want to decorate their bedroom and how they want them arranged.
The move will be emotional, but with understanding and support your children will be able to settle into their new life successfully.
This post was written by Catherine Halsey, a keen travel and lifestyle blogger. She writes for a number of sites and is working on her own site of recommendations and travel tips.