Making a move to a new country is a big deal whenever it happens, but if you have a young family, it can feel especially overwhelming. These tips will help if you are in the process of preparing your children for a family emigration.
Emigrating is a huge process and the more disorganised you are, the more stressed everyone will be. Try to keep on top of everything in good time. The visa application process will be a big step, but don’t forget to organise other essential things, such as an international removal company. Working with an experienced company like 1st Move International that can handle international removals to New Zealand will eliminate a lot of the stress. Contact an international shipping company like this one and get the ball rolling as soon as possible.
Include Them in the Process
As there’s so much paperwork to be completed when planning an international removal, it can be tempting to do as much as you can when your children are at school, nursery, or with grandparents. However, it is important for children to feel part of the process if they are to understand the move. Depending on their age, allow them to help pack, perhaps having a yard sale of items they won’t be taking with them. Knowing they are making money of their own may soften the blow of not being able to take every single toy.
Show Them Photos of What to Expect
Life in another country can be quite different and it can be hard for children to know what to expect of their future homeland. Be honest with them about the differences, making the most of things you know they will see as a positive (such as a bigger garden, living near the beach, shorter school days). If they have been to New Zealand to visit the house and area you are moving to already, they will have an idea of what life might be like. If they haven’t been able to visit, show them photographs and videos of their new home and country. Making them a photo album to look through in their own time can be a successful method of preparing them for the move so they have a sense of familiarity when you arrive.
Children may be unsettled in the lead up to a move. Part of this is because they can sense the stress of the adults around them so however overwhelmed you are feeling, try to be calm. Encourage them to ask questions and consider having a family meeting where everyone discusses what they are looking forward to and what they are nervous about – it is healthy for children to know adults have worries too!
Allow Them a Proper Goodbye
Goodbyes are difficult and there’s no way of making them any easier. You might think avoiding any big goodbyes will save your children heartache, but this is rarely true. Whether you have a ‘Bon Voyage’ party for the whole family or a small gathering for your children and their closest friends, giving them the opportunity to say a proper farewell can give them closure. There may be tears from all sides, but this is a natural way of expressing emotions.
With Facetime and Zoom, distance doesn’t mean disconnecting with your old life – arranging online meetups with friends can help during the transitional period.