Helping Your Teenager
Adjust to Expat Life

October 2022

The transition period to expat life can be particularly difficult on teens. At their age, they are forming their own identity and striving for independence. Moving to a new country on top of this can bring up a lot of extra insecurities. 

Transitioning from childhood to adulthood is not an easy task. Your teenager is bound to have a hard time settling in. As the parent, you can be there to help your teenager adjust to their new expat life. 

As you go through your own adjustment period it can be easy to forget to recognise and listen to your teenager's worries. Research shows that active listening can help lower stress and anxiety in the individuals expressing their concerns. No matter how small their worries may seem. Practising active listening when your teenager voices their concerns can help them come to terms with their new home. 
Unfortunately for your teenager picking up a new language is harder for them. It is much easier for younger children to catch on to a new language. Helping your teenager with this is another great way to support them in the adjustment period. Pick up some extra study guides, and online learning resources. Enrolling your teenager in extra language classes is also a great way to help them build on their own studies. 
With all of the new changes, your teenager is experiencing, try and maintain the same routine as you did back home. This can help your teenager’s adjustment period by keeping a supportive and familiar environment at home.  
As a parent, you have some control over what you get your children involved in outside of school. Take the initiative to connect with other expat families who have teenagers of a similar age. Getting your teens involved in life in your new country will help make the transition easier for them. 
The expat experience is all about blending two countries. It is important for your teenagers to not lose complete touch with their old home. Make the effort to help your teens stay in contact with their friends and family. Your teenager is probably well versed in social media but try helping out with scheduling catch-up video calls every couple of months. 
Planning visits can give your teenager something to look forward to when adjusting to expat life. If you can, try and take your own family trip home at least once a year. Encouraging your family and friends to visit is another great way to keep your teen connected to home.
Your teenager has to balance adjusting to expat life, new friendships, school pressures and changing hormones. So be prepared to see strong and unstable emotions from your teenager while they adjust. Help your teen through with open lines of communication to let them feel comfortable sharing their feelings.
At Allianz Care, our international health insurance for established families can help support you and your loved ones when transitioning overseas. Get your quote online today.