This is the time of year, following holidays to exotic and balmy locations, that parents often debate moving abroad and starting a new life for their family. I know when my own brother emigrated to Australia last Summer that it was something he and his wife had debated and researched a lot in the preceeding years. In this post, guest-writer Christina Moore explores various reasons for and against moving children to another country.
Making the decision to move is hard, especially when children are involved. For some children, making the transition from one home to another is easy; for others it's a challenge. So when it comes time to make the move out of country, parents face even more challenges.
There are definite pros and cons to moving children out of country, but weighing those can help make the decision (and the move) easier. Be sure to also follow these tips on how to prepare the children for a move.
Cultural diversity – This is a big deal, especially for children. Cultural diversity includes a wide array of meaning. It can include:
- learning new languages
- immersing in new culture
- gender and/racial acceptance
- multicultural etiquette
- religious tolerance
- broader understanding of art
- enhance global understanding
These are just a few of the benefits that children can experience by moving to another country. College students are often encouraged to take a semester abroad because it enhances their cultural diversity, which improves their employability. By making this move, you are actually putting your child a step ahead of the pack for future employment.
Social media – Let's face it, children are all able to be connected. While everyone will be leaving behind friends (and extended family) with whom they were close, social media now makes it possible for children to stay connected to their old world while immersing themselves in a new one.
Culture shock – If you are moving to a country that is somewhat similar to your native one, this may not be as much of a problem. However, if you are moving somewhere that has different social etiquette or a new language, it can potentially inhibit the progress your child makes. Culture shock can cause a child a lot of emotional stress, so be prepared to help them adapt to the new surroundings.
Permanence - Children get attached to their surroundings. It makes moving across the country, across the state, or just across town hard. It can make moving abroad even more of a challenge. As tempting as it may be to buy a new bed once you reach your new home, you just might want to hold on to the old one a little longer. Familiarize them with their new environment before making changes.
It's also a good idea to pack slowly and put in the child's bed and toys last so that they can be the first thing unpacked in the new home. You can make this transition easier by renting moving containers from United Mayflower. Then, items can be packed at a casual pace and you can make sure your child has what they need right away when you unpack.
You can help the child make a smoother transition by introducing them to the new environment before the big move. If you have the time (and the means) to visit the new country and stop by the new home, take your child with so that they can see where they are moving to. Try to hype up the area before the move by pointing out fun things they can do once they move. It doesn't matter if they are two or teenage, getting them familiar with and excited about the move can make the transition to a new country much smoother.