Practical overseas relocation advice for parents.

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There are numerous reasons why parents might consider moving their family overseas. From family commitments and the search for a safer, happier way of life to the offer of a job or an opportunity to expand your career, the chances are you’ve thought long and hard about your options. Indeed, making such a decision won’t have come easily, and there’s perhaps a long way to go until you’re ready to pack up and leave it all behind; particularly if you’ve got the worry of a new career to contend with too.

Making the move abroad

The quest for a new, and better career is one that frequently takes American parents, and their families far away from home. Whether you’re searching for bigger and better challenges, an opportunity to broaden your horizons, career progression, or a chance to learn new skills your move abroad is likely to be one that will enrich your home and working lives. Indeed, while such relocations can be difficult they’re usually worth the upheaval in the end. There are American families spread across the globe, of course, but the most popular international destinations include Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. It’s in such locations that parents, and their families find the best experiences and opportunities, although you’re perhaps being pulled in a very specific direction regarding your career.

Helping children to adapt

Working aside, one of the hardest tasks that most relocating parents will face is preparing their children for such a move. Although children are adaptable, resilient creatures, it’s essential for parents to consider them at every turn; exposure to new cultures, languages, and experiences can be incredible rewarding, but your children might not feel that way at the moment. Luckily, there are things that you could be doing to comfort and support your children in the wake of such a big move. You’re simply going to need a little patience.

Involve your child as much as possible

Regardless of your child’s age you should involve him or her as much as you can. Be sure to discuss plans with your child as and when they happen, and encourage him or her to learn a little more about the country you’ll be moving to. Your big move is an exciting adventure; ensure your child views it that way, rather than worrying about the changes ahead. It’s important to remain realistic, though. Don’t get into the habit of making promises you can’t keep.

Find the right school

Your child’s education will play an important part in helping him or her to settle down. Attending a new school can be daunting, to say the least. It’s essential that you take your time to find the right kind of education setting. The Stamford American International school in Singapore, is particularly popular with expats, as it educates children from similar backgrounds, who are likely to be sharing the same fears and experiences. Growing independence at school will enable your child to thrive in his or her new home country.

Help your child to find friends

Our friendships define us, and as children they hold particular importance. Your child is no doubt worrying about moving away from home and making new friends, particularly if he or she has had any difficulties in the past. Sending your child to an international school is the first step towards introducing new friendships, while embracing the expat community in your new area is also likely to help; empowered by friendships with children in similar circumstances, your child will be ready to open up in no time.

Lead by example

Of course, the best way to help your child to settle is to lead by example; allow your enthusiasm for your move to become contagious. However, demonstrating that you understand your child’s concerns is also important. Allow your child to grieve for the life he or she is leaving behind, and never underestimate his or her ability to react with maturity when circumstances are explained. Moving overseas is a huge undertaking for the whole family, so be patient.

Help your child prepare for your move by emphasizing your readiness to answer questions, and allow him or her to create a memory box of family members, friends, and experiences at home. Such a keepsake will become vital while you’re settling in. Taking a job overseas is a fantastic opportunity for the whole family. However, it’s vital to remember that children are allowed to have misgivings; this doesn’t mean that they’re any less open to adventures.

LisaLisa

My name is Lisa and my husband Carl, and I are the owners of the Night Helper Blog. We have been married for over 30 years and we have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies and of course blogging. The Night Helper blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands.

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