For you as an expat, it is nice new experience when you become an expat in a new country, with a new exciting culture and a new nice job. However, it is a big step for your whole family. Children that move to a completely new country are often stressed and more likely to be depressed. It is also not surprising that a child experiences this, because they have to leave all their friends behind and move to a country where everything is often different. As a result, they can struggle to make new friends because of the cultural difference. Here are some suggestions to help your kid settle abroad:
𝟭. 𝗛𝗲𝗹𝗽 𝘁𝗼 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗱𝘀
Making new friends is the most important thing for a child in a new country, but it is often also very difficult due to various barriers, for example language. Try going to different places like the park or to the swimming pool with your children. Here they often make new friends, and if you do this together it won’t be so scary for them to go there. Also check whether your child is interested in a sport or other hobby. These are also places where children quickly make friends.
𝟮. 𝗜𝗻𝘃𝗼𝗹𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀
Try to get children involved in the moving process as early as possible. Often children are frustrated because they have little control. Let them decorate their own room and help with the interior design. This will also give the child the feeling that you are taking this step together as a family.
𝟯. 𝗔𝘀𝗸 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗳𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗲𝘀
Many families have gone before you. Every year, thousands of families move abroad with their children. Try to connect with these families. Ask questions, exchange information, this will help you enormously. There are many (facebook) groups you can join. No one else can give you better information than those who have already experienced it.
𝟰. 𝗞𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗼𝘂𝗰𝗵
Homesickness is galling. Just like for you, it is hard for children to move away from friends and family. For the first few weeks or even months, homesickness will be the worst and there will be times when they feel lonely. Therefore, try to keep in touch with friends and family regularly. For example, schedule a time every weekend to video call with them.