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Helping Children Adjust to a Move Abroad

Jan 06. 2020

A move abroad involves some of the greatest upheavals of any of life’s most significant milestones. Children are often known to be more resilient in situations where there is considerable change and often possess a far greater degree of adaptability than adults. However, it is understandable that moving with children can still be a daunting experience and it is important to keep an eye out for tell-tale signs that they are finding things difficult.

A child who is notably more withdrawn than normal and opting to spend more time alone or even becoming aggressive and disruptive may need more help adjusting. A reticence to make new friends and a tendency to make very frequent contact with friends and family back home may also be an indicator of problems.

Including children in the decision making process will give them a greater degree of a sense of control; they’re partaking in the move abroad not just having it forced upon them. The involvement can start right from packing for the move, by consulting them on what they want to take with them. Encouraging them to take items that will give them a sense of familiarity in the new home will also help. However, when it comes to the moving day itself, it’s best not to have young children in the way of the removal crews.

Be careful not to simply brush off their concerns and difficulty to adjust as simply something that will ease with time. Acknowledging their feelings and concerns will give them a sense that you’re taking their issues seriously and gives them an opportunity to open a dialogue with you rather than bottling up their feelings.

When their surroundings change considerably, one of the elements of continuity will come from emulating a similar routine that you had in the home country. If they played a particular sport at a weekend for example, perhaps sign them up for sports clubs and teams where they can pick these sports up again.

Trips home
A remedy to home sickness may seem to be to schedule a trip home but in many cases this can cause a child to be more unsettled. This is not to say that a trip home must be avoided, but be mindful of not doing it too soon.

Lead by example
Children pick up a lot from the atmosphere at home and the mood of their parents. If you’re enthused about the move and about the new surroundings they will be more likely to be too. Equally, if you for example make the effort to settle make friends and meet new people they are more likely to follow suit.

Burke Bros Moving Group have decades of experience moving families to all parts of the world. For further information on our international moving services please take a look at our dedicated webpages or call our International Department on 01902 714555 or email sales@burkebros.co.uk.

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