There are lots of issues to be considered when deciding to move your family overseas. It's not as simple as discussing it with your spouse, packing up and getting on a plane! Moving to a new country is both exciting and challenging, and should not be undertaken lightly. Making the Decision Consider the impact of such a move on each member of your family.
This move will affect all of their lives. Parents should review the benefits and liabilities of such a move before presenting it to the children. Make sure that moving your family overseas is better for you in the long run, not only for the short term. Think about whether the sacrifices you'll need to make will be worth it. We want to prevent the children from growing up resenting their parents' decision to move during what they feel is an important part of their lives. Opening Discussion If you're set on moving your family overseas, the next issue to tackle is how to break the news to the children.
Parents often tend to disregard the opinions and feelings of their children in making decisions that will affect the whole family. Some like to simply announce: "Kids, we are moving overseas." Blunt and to the point, end of discussion. This isn't the best way as it makes clear to your children that they don't have any say as to what happens with their lives. Even if the decision to move has been made, you still need to listen to what your kids have to say about it, to show them that you care about their feelings.
Try saying the following instead: "Kids, we've been presented with a wonderful opportunity and in order to take advantage of it, we're going to have to move overseas. What do you think about that?" Overcoming Fears Parents know that most children will react negatively to the question. After all, it's the unknown and that's scary. This is natural. Encourage your children to ask questions and bring up issues they're worried about. By having an open discussion, you can assuage their fears.
You need to assure them that despite their concerns, everything will be okay. By listening to what they think and feel, you will get an understanding of their issues. You can answer all questions and begin to find solutions to any foreseeable problems.
Planning the Move After you've broken the news to the family, the time has come to make preparations. Good planning will help you make the transition much smoother for your family. Try to find people who can help you understand what's involved in the move. Find and hire services that can assist you with the intricate details of moving your family overseas. You need to learn as much about the country you're going to as possible. If you're moving your family to a location where a different language is spoken, think about learning the language together.
Make it a fun family activity and try to use it daily when you're all together. Conversing at the dinner table only in the new language can lead to lots of laughs. Culture shock is also a potential problem when moving overseas. Learning about the customs and culture ahead of time will help you and the children feel more comfortable. It will also make everyone more excited to see these new customs in action.
There will also be differences in small, previously disregarded things like measurements and electricity features. If your new country uses different standards of measurement and different voltages of electricity, you'll need to learn about these things and prepare for it ahead of time. Preparing for the Move Good preparation means taking care of all the little details concerning moving your family overseas. Where will you stay? Where will the children continue their education? Which personal items will you take with you and which will be left behind? What clothing do you need in this new climate? These are all questions that need to be answered.
Think about the legalities involved in moving your family overseas, including passports and other necessary papers. Find out about banking and money exchange. It's important to understand the value of the new currency. Kids will love to learn all about the new coins and paper money that doesn't look real! Remember, the way of life you have known so far is not the only way of life. People in other countries have their habits and oddities. Respect the rights of others and you'll be just fine.
Make sure to teach this lesson to your family too. By following these suggestions, your family can successfully navigate the sometimes daunting, always exciting, move to another country. With the right attitude and plenty of research and preparation, you can tackle the job with ease.
Karen Fusco is the co-author of "Busy Moms: The Heart and Soul of a Home", an ebook filled with time-saving and stress-reducing tips and ideas to help build a stronger home, a stronger family and a stronger you. Karen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.