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Children and the international move | How to prepare the little ones for the change?

| Anna |

Dzieci i przeprowadzka międzynarodowa | Jak przygotować najmłodszych na zmianę?

Moving internationally can be an exciting but stressful experience, especially for the youngest members of the family. Adapting to a new environment, a new school, culture and language can be a challenge. In this article, we will discuss some tips on how to prepare children for an international move and how to help them through the adaptation process.

1. Talk to your children about moving

The most important step is to have an open and honest conversation with your children about the move. Explain to them why moving is necessary and what the benefits of the new home will be. Allow children to ask questions and express their concerns.

2. Prepare for change

Before the move, it is a good idea to familiarise your children with the new country and city using books, films or online resources. You can also organise a trip to the new place before the move so the children can see it for themselves.

3. Take care of social contacts

Moving house also means parting with existing friends. Organise farewell gatherings and encourage your children to keep in touch with their friends through the internet, letters or phone calls.

4. Find the right school when you move

Choosing the right school for your child is crucial. Get an idea of the education system in the new country and city, research the different schools and their curricula. You can also contact potential schools and arrange to meet the principal or teachers.

5. Prepare your child for a change of school

Changing schools can be one of the most difficult aspects of the move for your child. Try to arrange a visit to the new school before the start of the school year so that your child can get to know the new surroundings and meet teachers and classmates. Talk to the teachers about your child’s learning needs and any adaptation difficulties so that they can adapt their approach.

6. Help to learn a new language

Prepare your child for learning a new language through language courses, online lessons or by using language learning apps. Support your child’s learning by taking classes with him or her and organising situations in which he or she can practise the new language. In addition to language courses, create everyday situations in which your child can practice the new language, such as conversations during meals, word games or watching films in the target language.

7. Facilitate adaptation after a move

After the move, try to facilitate your child’s adaptation to the new environment. Encourage them to participate in after-school activities, sports clubs or other social activities that can help them meet new friends. If the new country requires learning a new language, make sure you support your child in this area. In addition to language courses, create everyday situations in which your child can practice the new language, such as conversations during meals, word games or watching films in the target language.

8. Understand your child’s emotions

Moving house can trigger many different emotions in children, such as uncertainty, sadness or even excitement. It is important for parents to be open to and understand these feelings. Encourage your child to express their emotions and reassure them that you are there to support them in any situation.

9. Keep in touch with your existing community

Moving doesn’t have to mean severing contact with the previous environment. Encourage your child to keep in touch with old friends through letters, emails, phone calls or video conferences. This will help your child feel less isolated and provide emotional support.

10. Create a positive home environment

Home should be a place where the child feels safe and supported. Try to create a positive environment where the child can express their emotions, share their experiences and where they are understood and accepted.

11. Explore a new environment

Encourage your child to explore a new environment and discover new places. Organise family outings, walk around the neighbourhood, visit café establishments or parks. This will help your child feel more integrated into the new place and contribute to their adaptation.

12. Ensure stability during removals

During the moving and adaptation period, it is important that your child has a sense of stability. Try to maintain consistent routines and schedules that will help your child feel safe and secure in their new environment.

Moving with a child

European removals can be challenging for both children and parents, but with the right support and preparation, it can become a positive experience that contributes to the development and enrichment of a child’s life. The most important thing is to understand the child’s needs, be open to their emotions and support them in all aspects of the move and adaptation.