Expat life as an adult is extremely difficult, imagine how hard it could be for a child. Children may adopt quicker and far easier to life in a foreign country than the parents, however, there will be a number of tantrums, crying spells and desperate requests to return home along the way. As parents, it will be your job the make the transitioning process easier for your children. Here are some tips on how to do that:
Take Them to Language Classes
Depending on your children’s age, they will need language lessons in the most widely spoken tongue in the country you are moving to. For example, if you are moving to mainland China, find Mandarin lessons for kids to join. The younger your child is, the easier she or he will learn the language. Regardless of the fuss your children might throw at the prospect of more classes after school, these language courses are highly important for survival in the foreign country. And later, if you move back home, your children will speak a second language fluently enough to impress a college or a prospective employer.
The best way to get your little ones interested in the new country is to take them travelling across the country. Show them interesting attractions and go on adventure tours. If they are young enough, you might even succeed in convincing your children that they are just on an extended vacation. At least, at first anyway. Once your children gets to know the country and appreciate it’s many beautiful places, they will be less fussy about living there for several years to come.
Join a Local Playgroup
Those Mandarin lessons for kids will not be sufficient to make your children fluent. However, you can make your child’s linguistic as well as social skills improve immensely by enrolling your little one in a local play group where he or she can mingle with local children of the same age. Language barriers hardly matter to children. Once your little ones find local friends, they will want to stay rather than leave.
Meet and Greet Other Expat Children
Along with local children, allow your children to meet other expat children so they can exchange survival tips among themselves. No one is better at knowing an expat child than another expat child. So, these children will be able to give each other advice no adult ever could.
To make the move easier, you can always cook traditional meals from back home at your new home to literally give your children a taste of home.