11 May Moving with kids – easy as a wink?
Moving with children is not easy as winking. Let’s get that straight. But there are many things we can do to make a move to another country as smooth as possible.
Certainly, there are always fears and doubts involved in such a change, but hopefully there is also anticipation and a sense of adventure.
A quote from Paulo Coelho says: “If you are brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello”.
What we need as parents is a positive attitude. Despite all the discomfort, there are always many positive things that we can emphasize. Maybe the sea will be nearby, maybe the school will offer something exciting, or maybe it will be nice and warm all year round.
Of course, we must take the children’s concerns seriously and listen to them. It is very important that we take time for this, despite all the stress of moving, and talk openly with them. There are many ways to involve the kids in the preparations and make plans with them. If they realize that we are largely optimistic about the new adventure, then they will certainly find it easier.
Before we finally leave, they should be able to say goodbye to their friends and family members without stress. Later, at their new place of residence, we can help them stay in touch. WhatsApp, Skype etc. fortunately make it very easy for us today. When they see that their old friends continue to be their friends. That’s very helpful. It also helps to keep familiar and cherished rituals. This provides security and structure.
Overall, the age of the children plays a big role. Younger children are still very focused on their parents. As a rule, everything is fine if mom and dad and siblings are there. With older children, caregivers and friends outside the family already play a greater role. As they get older, this becomes more pronounced, and they often miss their friends and their social environment from school and clubs. On the other hand, it is easier to talk to them about their worries and fears.
Relocating with children to another country is always a challenge and it would be naive to think that no difficulties will arise at all. Over the years, I have also experienced families in which children have found it very difficult to settle in. This in turn quickly affects the whole family. With such a change, everyone needs to be happy. If it turns out that this is becoming a bigger problem, it is important to get help. Often it doesn’t take much to see light at the end of the tunnel again.
Fortunately, however, everything usually turns out better than we initially expect, and life rewards us with a “hello.”