Moving overseas can seem daunting enough for parents, never mind tackling it with children. Luckily we have three Mykidstimers who have moved overseas with children in the past, so we put together this mini-guide to “Moving Overseas with Children” for you:
#1. Involve the children in the huge family ‘adventure’ of moving overseas.
Talk to your children about the country you are moving to, and explain why you are moving. Listen to the children’s concerns and try to find real answers for their questions. For older children, you could work on a mini scrapbook with facts and pictures about the new country.
#2. Help organise contacts for email and Skype for friends
These days even if you are moving to the other side of the world it doesn’t mean that children will lose contact with their friends, make sure the older children and teens know they can still stay in touch with their friends using email and Skype.
#3. Try to time your move for school years
If possible if may be worth timing your move for the beginning of a new year. Starting a new school at the start of the year is always easier than coming in part-way through the school year. So time a move to the southern hemisphere for January or to the northern hemisphere for August.
Here are some tips on settling in your child when moving overseas:
#4. Prepare your children for any dangers in the foreign country.
A friend of mine is currently preparing her children for a move to Australia and in doing so she is getting her children to check their shoes for spiders before putting them on!
#5. Get the kids to help decide what stays and what goes
Getting down to the nitty gritty of moving is mainly to do with packing. It needs to be decided what needs to be packed and brought on the journey, what needs to be sold, thrown out or stored and what needs to be shipped. Get the kids to participate with their stuff and decide what needs to stay or go.
Related: Moving House with Children
#6. Pack essential items to go with you on your initial journey
It could take anything from 6 weeks to 3 months for the shipped items to arrive, therefore pack the key essential items to go with you in your luggage, as you will be without most of your possessions for a while. If you are lucky enough to have some support in your new country, then that helps, for example when I was moving home to Ireland from New Zealand, we only packed and shipped our possessions days before we left New Zealand because when we got to Ireland we were able to move in with my parents which meant we were less likely to need all our goods.
#7. Double check the favourite toys are travelling with you too!
Make sure children get to choose a couple of smaller toys to travel with and have while most of their toys are packed away. Important to remember here that the packed toys may not be accessible for up to 3 months!
Although it is extremely stressful moving overseas, it is important to be positive and excited about the move. Even young toddlers are sensitive to change so if parents are stressed and anxious about the move overseas, children will likely experience similar emotions.
Good luck with the move!
Do you have any tips to share on moving overseas with children? Share them in the comments below.