Three things are guaranteed to cause stress in your life:
1. Having children – It’s a joy but a challenge nonetheless.
2. Moving – There’s so much to do and so little money to do it with.
3. Traveling abroad – There’s the flight, culture clashes, homesickness…it’s fun but fraught, especially with kids.
If you are thinking about moving abroad with your children, you have all three things to worry about. However, the tips below can help guide you if you are thinking about this move.
Why do you want to move?
Perhaps you are a fugitive from the law, so you need to grab the kids and get out of the country, pronto! Unlikely, but who are we to judge. It’s more likely that you are moving for one of two reasons. You may want a change, and the idea of living abroad is something that appeals. Alternatively, a new job or job transfer may force you to move overseas so you might have little choice in the matter.
Where do you want to move to?
Assuming you have a choice over the move, you should choose a location where you can live comfortably with your family. In the same way as moving to a new home in your locality, you want to choose somewhere safe. Check out this list of countries, ranked from most dangerous to the most peaceful. If you don’t have a chance to look at the list, just know that Iceland and New Zealand are considered the best places to live, while Syria and Afghanistan are the most unsafe. So whether you are considering buying luxury real estate on the French Riviera or purchasing an igloo in the wilds of Alaska, do your research into the country you are planning on moving to.
Timing is Everything
As a parent, you are responsible for making decisions over your kids’ lives as well as your own. Your children may feel excited about the move, but they may also show resentment at your decision. If they are really tied to their school life or they have friends they can’t bear to be without, they are going to be frustrated and angry. Younger children will adapt quicker (including learning a new language) than older children who have become accustomed to a particular way of life. However, as with any move, there will be difficulties for everybody. Be wise, and if your heart is set on moving abroad, you will all adapt eventually.
Making a Smooth Transition
Here are some tips for making the move as easy as possible.
– Explain to the kids early on about what’s happening, and involve them in the process.
– Ensure everybody is inoculated and medical records are in place for the move.
– Educate yourself and your family with language classes such as taking an online course.
– Get your kids excited about the move by showing them photos and videos of the country.
– Make education a priority, and register them at a school as soon as possible.
– Collect contact numbers of everybody important in your child’s life so they can keep in touch.
– Be honest with your kids, answer all their questions while making no false promises.
– Make time for your kids to say goodbye to their friends, and have a fun going away party.
If you decide to move, remember our tips for settling into a new place. Look after all your children’s needs as well as your own, and as they say in France, bon voyage!