Moving Abroad: What About the Kids?

Date Created: 16.07.2014

Moving abroad can be a daunting prospect, especially for first time emigrants - and this big step can seem even more challenging when young family members are involved. For those of you preparing to take the leap, we’ve compiled some sound advice to give you peace of mind during this transitional period.

The stresses placed on you and your family during a move go beyond the mere practicalities of the move itself. Moving can be an emotionally distressing time for the whole family, with reasons for moving varying from a new job or opportunity to a negative change in personal circumstances. Regardless of the reasoning behind it, moving almost always means leaving something behind, whether it’s memories, belongings, extended family or friends. However, with some positive advice and the right approach, you can make your family move a positive experience.

The moving process can be particularly difficult for children and teenagers. It’s not uncommon for younger children to feel confused or anxious about the big changes happening around them. We tend to get caught up in the practicalities of the move, while younger family members might not be aware of how much physical work needs to be done, focusing instead on the losses brought about by moving. Reassure children by talking to them about the move and keeping them involved in the process, finding ways to help them contribute during the preparation stages. This way they feel they are part of the change and are in control, rather than a victim of change.

Older children and teenagers may feel anxious about changing schools or leaving behind their friendship groups. Changing schools can be an extremely stressful experience for anyone and this shouldn’t be brushed off. Try to focus their attention on the benefits of the place you’re moving to, with the opportunity to make new friends and take part in new exciting activities. This silver lining can be particularly positive if your children have experienced bullying or had a negative time in school - giving them a chance for a completely fresh start.

Whatever stage of the moving process you’re in, it can be emotional and distressing for children in the family - particularly younger kids, who may feel confused by the big change. Adults tend to focus on the practicalities of the move, whereas children are more likely to see the losses that moving will bring about. Each family is different - some children may take the move in their stride and even be excited about the big day, while others may be worried about changing schools or making new friends.

Any experienced expat will tell you that the key to a successful move is all in the preparation, and you can find out even more ways to prepare your whole family for the moving process in the ‘Ultimate Family Moving Guide’ from Removal Services Scotland - full of expert tips to ensure your family move goes off without a hitch - including advice for elderly family members and even pets.

This guest blog post was written by Removal Services Scotland - specialists in domestic, family and commercial removals in the UK and abroad.