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Moving with Children and Teens

It is most common that the young members of the family are usually the ones that are more affected by moving abroad. Teens are more vulnerable as their age signifies the start of socialising and making new friends. They do not want to leave their friends, schools, and familiar world for a strange new country. As a parent it is only natural that you think of the consequences that a move will have to your offspring. However, there is no reason to start feeling distressed.

Start by preparing them well in advance because in this case last-minute announcements can turn to be quite catastrophic. Talk with them, in a family setting and individually, about the reasons for your move. Mention your new home frequently and always in positive terms.

A good idea would be to talk to their teachers and perhaps suggest they have a special lesson on your destination country, so that they are encourage to research about their new home. You could even help them with their research as an extra mean of bonding. Have family "movie nights" with films based on your destination country and give them the chance to express their concerns and thoughts about your movement.

Plan a first visit to the country before moving take the children with you and try to organise fun day trips and activities so as they start becoming familiar with the new environment.

You could even organise a special trip to their new schools. Usually students from abroad go to schools where their native language is the language taught. This will make them feel more secure.

If you plan on buying or renting a property show them pictures of the houses/flats you are considering and decide as a family what the best residence is for you.

They can also collect pictures of their home, town, school, and friends to show to the children they will be meeting in their new country. They can do the same once they are settled in their new home, taking photos to bring back with them in order to share their adventure abroad with the old friends they will be rejoining.

The key is to let them become involved to the moving process as much as possible and as early as possible.

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