Moving abroad with kids – how to prepare
Moving abroad with kids – how to prepare
Moving to another country or continent is certainly a big step for any family. No matter what the reason for such a decision might be, there is a possibility that the youngest family members will find it difficult to adjust to the new environment. However, the key is in preparation, so let’s see how you can get ready for moving abroad with kids.
How will your kids accept the change?
Depending on the age your kids are at, they will have a different attitude towards moving abroad. Babies are still unaware of their surroundings, so naturally, they will not react to the change in their living space. On the other hand, toddlers will probably object to any change that occurs, and you have to admit that moving abroad is a big deal. Toddlers are still learning their native language, so encountering a new one might be overwhelming.
Preschoolers and school-aged kids are usually sensitive to changing their home. They will also react to leaving their friends and teachers.
With teenagers, you never really know what to expect. Some of them will be excited to start a new life abroad, while for others, moving so far away may seem like the end of the world.
Talk to your family
Being on the same page with all your family members is crucial, especially when it comes to changing your home. That is why you should discuss this decision with them as early as possible. Parents usually postpone this conversation with their kids, but that’s not a good idea. The sooner you tell them, the more time they will have to prepare.
Find out more about the documents you will need
For entering some countries you will only need a valid passport, but there are also some that will require you to have a visa. Even though there are many websites that can provide you with this sort of information, contacting the embassy is still the best way of getting the most accurate instructions. You can also ask your international movers for advice on paperwork and documentation.
Research the education options for your kids
Career change is usually the reason why people move abroad. Just like you probably wouldn’t move without researching the business opportunities in your new hometown, you should also think about the arrangements for your kids. That is why, right after you find your future home, you should look into:
- the preschool facilities – what is it that you need to sign your kids up for daycare? It would be useful to research the prices since they might be significantly different from those in your country.
- schools – what is your school district? What is it that you can find out about the school? If possible, you should even try to arrange meetings with the principal and/or teachers.
- parks and entertainment facilities – it is important that you know where your children will be spending their free time.
- sports clubs – if your kids are into sports, they might want to continue practicing after moving abroad. Find out which sports are popular in your new hometown – your child might be the future champion!
Include your kids in the preparation process
Since you will probably be too busy preparing for your upcoming relocation, you will have to come up with some activities for your kids to keep them occupied. If they are old enough to participate in packing, you should definitely include them in this process. But, before you do that – it is time for decluttering!
Decluttering will save you some money
Moving all of your possessions abroad can cost an arm and a leg. But, when you think about it – do you really need all those things in your new home? Some items are more expensive to move internationally than to buy when you reach your new hometown. You need to be practical if you are not planning on spending a fortune on your move.
Families with kids usually have much more stuff than they need, so relocation is a perfect opportunity to get rid of the unnecessary items. Throw away damaged and useless things and donate clothes and toys that are in good condition. Kids can help you decide which toys they no longer need.
Make packing into a game
Even toddlers can help a lot if you allow them to. With a little help, they can assemble boxes and put their toys inside. If you have more than one child, chances are that they like to compete. You can make packing fun by organizing a game – who will pack more boxes? Whose boxes will be better decorated? Who is faster at labeling boxes?
If your kids are too young and you cannot be bothered with packing, you can opt for hiring professional packers, as well as for any other additional services you might need during your move. The scope of services will be enough to guarantee a stress-free experience.
Do you know the language people speak in your new home country?
Adapting to a new country can be rather difficult if you cannot speak the language of the locals. That’s not only important for your future career but for socializing as well. Think about taking a language course even before you move abroad. The more you know, the easier it will be for you to make friends and adjust. Children are great at learning new skills, so you can make this learning process a family activity.
Learn more about the culture and tradition of the country you are moving to
Being ignorant of the culture of the people you will be working and spending time with is not the best choice you can make. Of course, you’ll be able to learn along the way, but still, you don’t want to offend anyone the first time you see them. The Internet is a great source of information about the customs and traditions of any country you decide to move to.
We hope that moving abroad with kids will be a pleasant experience for your entire family. Make sure that you prepare well and there will be nothing for you to worry about!