Moving anywhere is stressful. An international relocation poses a minefield of complexities and it's own set of steps for success.
Relocating with children can add to the challenge, but needn't be an insurmountable challenge. As with any change, careful management and planning can pay dividends :
1. Keep them informed. I'm a firm believer in telling it like it is and explaining the reason behind a move, with all of the upsides for your life as a family can be powerful
2. Be aware of your perception of change. Children's expectation of change is largely influenced by the parents' mindset - if accepted as a part of life, there is no reason why a balanced child will be able to adapt and accept the change
3. Involve them in the process - whether it's viewing homes, showing them the school and the new activities they can partake in, help with the packing or have other responsibilities. These are all empowering and can help with the acceptance of the upcoming change
4. Explain how the process will work - from knowing how long the transition will take, what will happen to their belongings, what their new home country will be like. Knowing what to expect is a great way to alleviate worry and the sense of anticipation
5. Identify 'same and different' aspects of your new life. Tell them what won't change, and what they can expect to be different. For example, moving to Australia from the UK will mean that everyone speaks English, you'll still be able to live in a house and have a car. They'll also have the chance to learn surfing, see kangaroos in the wild and stopover in Hong Kong's Disneyland on the way!
6. Focus on their room and environment - this can help with their sense of security, knowing that whilst they've moved across the world, they still have some familiarity and consistency until they settle into their new home
Article originally published on The Expat Concierge blog