If you are considering or have accepted an expatriate assignment, one of your biggest concerns may be the impact it is going to have on your children. The decision to uproot them from your home country, the life they know and their family and friends is not easy to make. However, with the right preparation and mind-set, an overseas move could be a wonderful experience for your entire family.
Consider your child’s personality
Regulate your own feelings
Allow time for them to prepare
Listen to concerns
It is likely your child is going to have concerns about moving away. Depending on their age and your family situation they might include worries around:
· leaving friends
· changing schools
· making new friends
· learning a new language
· staying in touch with family at home
Acknowledge their fears but reassure them that you will do everything possible to make their new situation work for them. Talk about other times of change when they felt nervous but coped with like:
· starting school
· taking up a new hobby
· passing an exam or test
· going to camp or spending time away from home
Give future expat kids choices
Read books about moving away
Learn a new language
Plan and provide connection
There is no doubt you are going to have to overcome some hurdles on the road to becoming an expat family. Taking the time to prepare your children for expat life will make your role as an expat parent much easier.
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