Migrating with a young child can be a daunting prospect for any family. You may feel worried about your son or daughter’s ability to adjust to a new home or new school, and feel guilty about your child leaving behind friends from their previous home. Fortunately, with the assistance of an immigration agent in Melbourne, moving to a new country can be extremely beneficial for any young child. In fact, research shows that children who have been exposed to living in multiple countries, experience significant improvements socially, and are well- adjusted to the cultural and socio-economic differences that exist across the globe.
Moving to a new country can therefore be an extremely beneficial change for any young child, giving them experiences and exposure to new cultures and languages; far beyond what any classroom education could ever provide. Read on to find our tips for migrating with a young child, to help make the transition as smooth and seamless as possible.
Prioritise Mental Health
Moving to a new country can be incredibly stressful for young children. Your child may be nervous about making new friends or starting a new school, and may find themselves feeling sad and withdrawn in the lead up to the big move.
It is, therefore, important to prioritise your child’s mental health before migrating to a new country and keeping a close eye on whether they are coping with the big change. Before you leave for your new home, it is a great idea to talk openly to your child about the move. You can also research any sporting clubs or other after-school activities your son or daughter may like to join. With technology such as Google Earth available today, you can even show them pictures of their new home beforehand, to make them feel more settled.
If possible, try and organise your departure date so you arrive close to the start of a school holiday period. This means that your child will have time to adjust to their new home, before starting back at school. It can also make it easier for your child to pick up any schoolwork the class has if they do not start in the middle of a semester. If you have the ability to spend some time in your new home before starting work, it can be a great idea to take some time to show your child around their new home.
If your child is at the age to attend kindergarten or school, it is important to prioritise finding a suitable school. If possible, you should have your child enrolled in a local school, before migrating. Many schools will be subject to waitlists and other location restrictions, so it’s essential to not assume that school’s in your area will be available for your child to join.
If you are moving to a country with a different language that your child is not fluent in, it is important to research any available international schools. While your child will likely pick up the native language over time, an international school which caters for your child’s fluent language will be essential in the meantime. If you will be moving quite frequently throughout your child’s education, it may be best to look into schools which have an International Baccalaureate. This is a flexible option that will allow your child to continue their education across a number of different countries.
While it is important to encourage your children to embrace their new home country, it is important to maintain a few familiar items and encourage a continued connection with their home country.
The presence of familiar items or routines from their home country is particularly important for younger children. Keeping up with old routines can be as simple as finding a new local cafe for your weekly breakfast date. Before leaving for your new home, it is important to help your young children to have the ability to stay in contact with old friends. Chat with the parents of their friends to secure their email address or Skype username, so your child can keep in touch.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your child has the best start possible in their new home.