This is a sponsored guest post.
Having kids in the first place is both a challenge and a delight, but moving abroad with them? That’s a whole other ballgame.
Even though you might be nonchalant about the decision, your kids could be freaking out about the life decision being made on their behalf. Or, on the flip side, you might be stressed and up to your eyeballs in lists, lists, and more lists, while your little ones take it in their stride.
Long story short, there’s no ‘typical’ moving abroad with children scenario. However, there are common problems that many parents will face when they decide to take the leap and relocate with kids.
Here are just a few…and how to handle them if and when they crop up!
Problem: They don’t want to move in the first place
Kids who don’t want to move abroad even though their parents have already made the decision that, well, it is happening is Worst Case Scenario. (Or it feels like that!)
After all, there’s nothing worse than feeling like a bad parent for upsetting your child.
Solution: Make them feel like they have a say
The first thing to remember is that your child could just be shocked by the sudden decision and acting out as a result. The chances are they’re upset over the decision will be over before you know it.
However, you should nip this problem in the bud before it even flourishes by letting your child feel like they’re in on the decision…even if they’re, well, not. Talk to them about moving abroad, gauge their enthusiasm for the move and give them small decisions to make. For example, have them pick out a few favourite toys to take or books to pack.
Problem: You need to take all their bulky kids supplies
Kids come with baggage, both literally and metaphorically.
If you have an infant, you’re probably still burdened by the weight of cots and prams and even older children have a ton of stuff.
So, trying to pack it all up and get it to your country of choice is definitely one of the biggest moving abroad problems any parent can face.
Solution: Hire a moving company
This problem is easily resolved by simply employing movers to get your things from Point A to Point B. Think about it: there’s no point trying to lug everything on the plane, paying for extra baggage along the way, nor does it make sense to ditch the bulky items simply because you’re moving abroad as you’ll just end up needing to buy everything all over again when you arrive! So, compare international removals quotes over at Buzzmove and stop fretting about getting all your expensive essentials transported safely overseas.
Problem: The little ones have an in-flight meltdown
Picture the scene: everything’s packed and en route, plus your kids are excited about the move…and then they start screaming at the top of their lungs on the plane. Meanwhile, you’re melting into your seat trying to avoid eye contact with everyone in the vicinity and desperately hoping they stop throwing a tantrum soon. We’ve all been there.
Solution: Come prepared for all eventualities
You’ve seen those kitsch little ‘gift bags’ parents prepare for their seatmates when flying with a child, right? The ones full of cute notes, sweets and earplugs? Well, they may be unnecessary, but they certainly can help get your fellow passengers onside in case of a meltdown, so consider putting together a dozen or so.
You should also overpack on the entertainment for your kid, so they stay nice and distracted for the journey.
You could even invest in a blow-up, Fly Tot baby bed which will keep them comfy while they nap…and get them off your lap!
Problem: They miss their friends back home
You won’t be the only one who misses your friends and family that are still in the motherland. Your kids will too.
I mean, it is only natural to feel a bit disconnected after you move abroad, and for children who may have just begun to establish relationships, it can be both unsettling and upsetting to leave home at a formative age. Well, at any age for that matter.
Solution: The internet
There’s no excuse for not staying in touch in this day and age, thanks to the internet. So, make sure you try and get some scheduled Skype calls in with your kids’ playmates, as well as their grandparents and other close family friends. Having these appointments lined up and organised before you leave can also help your kid have something to look forward to when they’re just starting to settle into a new country too.
Problem: The kids are finding it hard to integrate
Moving to a new place, especially if that new place also comes hand in hand with a whole new and unknown language too, can make it tricky for your children (and you!) to integrate in with the locals at first.
Perhaps communication is proving difficult, or social norms are throwing out your sense of ‘normalcy’. Your kids might just be naturally shy to start with, or maybe they haven’t started school yet.
Basically, there are plenty of reasons they might not be at ease just yet.
Solution: All the courses and clubs!
The phrase fake it ‘til you make it really comes in to play when you want to fit in in a new country.
If we’re on the subject of different languages, definitely have your kids prepare for possible communication issues way before you first arrive, and definitely sign them up to courses when you get there too.
As well as that, get them in some clubs based around their existing hobbies. Do they love to sing? Find a choir in your area! Or are they more interested in sports? Have them register with the local football team! As long as the club gives them a chance to meet other people their age, everything will be OK.
Hopefully you won’t face these problems, but it’s always better to be prepared! What else should parents moving abroad with kids know about? Let us know in the comments!