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Supporting Children in the Relocation Process

  • By Vanessa Lim
  • October 16, 2019

At Expat International, we support a great many families making their first international or domestic relocation. Moving with children can be daunting and stressful, and parents often wonder how their children will cope with such a big change in their lives. At Expat, we help families of all sizes make their move as seamless and stress-free as possible.

Though it may appear simpler to organise a relocation without involving your children, it is important to recognise that children may be less adaptable than their parents and other adults. It is absolutely key to include your children in the planning for the move. This will help to prepare them in advance for the adjustment of living in a new place.

Ways to involve your children in the relocation process include:

 Sharing information with them as soon as you can
o This can be a balancing act. Your children should be in the loop so as to feel involved, and have time to process the change. However, they shouldn’t have so much time that they dwell on the news and become anxious.

 Taking your children with you on house inspections and/or area tours
o Giving your children the opportunity to explore their new home and area is a great way to make them feel comfortable. That way, when you move in, it won’t be totally foreign to them.

 Take pictures and videos while you explore the area and potential new homes (if it isn’t possible to bring the children along)

 Maintain routines and find familiarity
o A new home and area can cause a great deal of disruption, especially for a child. To normalise the move for your children, try to keep daily routines from your previous home.
o Enroll your child in the same extracurricular activities they were already participating in. Keep the interiors of their rooms the same as your previous home.

 Give the children responsibility
o Allowing children to document the move with a book and or camera will make them feel included with the preparation.
o Allow your children to pack a box of their own things while the packing is happening.
o Even letting them make small decisions about their new room will help them to feel important and vital to the moving process.

 Emphasise how easy it is to keep in touch with old friends
o This can be facilitated by sharing addresses, email addresses and other contact details.

 Be positive but also share your feelings
o Though you may want to maintain a constantly happy and positive facade for your children, it is important that you are honest and genuine with them.

Expat International is dedicated to making all our clients feel welcome and comfortable in their new homes. We help to include children in the process, wherever possible, to put them and their parents at ease.