One of the most important things we as parents tend to forget is to involve our children when we are facing an international relocation. For some reason, we take them for granted as part of the overall family relocation. Strange, as it may seem, children, especially if they are in their pre-teens or teens, can get affected by any relocation, be it to another city or another country. Leaving familiar environment, school, school friends and any change the home in which they are growing up can adversely impact their mind unless you keep them informed and involved right from the beginning. This way they feel important enough to be part of a major decision in the family.
One of the best things you can do to start the process of involving children is to take them for one of the pre-assignment trips to the new country. You could show them the neighborhood where they are likely to stay and the school they will be attending. If that is not possible, you could also take videos of the new city and show it to them back home. Let them get familiar to the new environment from months ahead of the trip. If the language used in the new country is not the same as your own, it could be a wise decision to enroll your family to the new language classes for some introductory lessons. The whole idea is to make the experience of relocation as comfortable to the children as possible so that they feel comfortable from the first day. Throughout the preparatory stages of relocation keep a positive outlook of the country and share your feelings with them. Also hear them out and what they have learnt about the new country of residence. Involving the children as much as possible in the move is of great help in the long run. If they are old enough, they could even help you with the packing of their rooms and their books and toys. If your children are grown up, staying in touch with their friends is important. So before moving, throw a party where all their friends could sign a scrap book leaving their addresses for further contact.
Internationalrelocation is most critical when it comes to children’s education.You ought to do a lot of homework regarding the academic programs offered by the international school and how and where your child may fit into the scheme of the program. You must specially check if the school has the facility where your child can pursue his or her favorite subject like music, etc. If necessary, you might have to send your child for special language classes to learn the primary language of the school. In case your child is completing school and wishes to pursue college in the US, you have to make special enquiries as to whether there are facilities available for applying to US colleges from the school he will attend. The internet provides very exhaustive information about colleges in the US which should be of great help. But even then, for studying in US colleges, you must make the application process much ahead of students who are applying from US schools.
After you have reached your new international destination, it is a good idea not to spend too much time in unpacking. Instead take your child out often and see whether there are neighborhood kids playing in the park or any recreational area. Introduce your kids to other children. Most importantly, while unpacking sand re-settling make your children also participate in the exercise of settling their own rooms, etc. This will make them feel more belonged and help them become friendly to their new environment sooner than you expect.