As you zip up the suitcases and prepare to move abroad, one concern might be the impact relocation will have on your children. Rest assured, the future is bright for a child who has been exposed to the global world and prepared for a life as a global citizen. We discuss this topic with Robyn Vogels of Personnel Relocations in Australia.
The long-term, life-changing benefits of moving children abroad or bringing them up in a different culture are often overlooked during the decision phase of a relocation. Even in my personal experience of moving my own children, I want to assure you that these benefits outweigh any short-term concerns you might have. Think about it, “Will your immediate concerns about the children still be relevant five years from now?”
In the 27 years I spent moving around the globe and helping others relocate, I found that almost everything that concerned the parents pre-move was likely to be a short-term issue such as, “Will the child like their new school?”, “Will they make friends?”, “Will they miss their old friends?” These are worries that we as parents conjure up with our own lifelong experience; children don’t. Children don’t plan that far ahead.
That said, let us look at these positive outcomes and remember these are lifelong skills you will be imparting to your child. Be proud of that.
This is perhaps one of the most obvious: new cultures, new traditions, new tastes! Just
about everything will be a little or maybe even a lot different. Your children will have a global awareness and perhaps a keen interest in travel now that they understand, geographically, where everything is. You can open their minds to entirely new and exciting concepts and traditions. It is an exciting time, embrace this and help them learn in this hands-on classroom of life.
Your child is going to understand that everyone is allowed an opinion and a right to believe in something that your own child might not believe in. That is okay, not everyone has to conform to your beliefs. This could be new political, religious or traditional beliefs. It could also be that they must accept something as simple as Santa Clause versus a Sinterklaas – who brings presents to Dutch children on the 15th of December already. Or that, in France, there is not a tooth fairy but a tooth mouse. Children around them will perhaps be quite different and that is okay. Which new traditions will you participate in? Discuss this with your child, research online and start the tour of discovery.
Culture and social awareness
Depending on the country you are moving to, this could be more immersive or move varied. If, for example, you are heading to India, that might be an extremely different cultural experience than, say, a move to England. Being culturally aware is becoming more and more important for the next generation and moving abroad will open your children’s eyes to this vast array of traditions, colours and beliefs.
Adapting and integrating
Just about anyone (including myself) will say that since moving abroad with their children, their children have become more flexible and adaptable to change. When children first start at their new school, they might sit back, watch, adapt to their surroundings, then watch again and adapt again. “What does Mary have in her lunchbox?” Might result in you being asked to suddenly produce a similar cheese stick! A simple example yes; but for a minute, imagine the boardroom skills your child is honing for the future. This part of a child's personality is developing skills by watching body language, mannerisms, voice patterns, etc. They are learning to assess hostility versus friendliness — what is acceptable and what is frowned upon. Most of all, they are adapting so they can integrate. I cannot stress the importance of integration more. When we are self-aware, we become confident. That goes for us as parents too. Integration is the key to our happiness, to our success and self-awareness.
Moving a child overseas is quite possibly something you have never had the opportunity of doing. You know that the world is changing, the world is becoming a smaller place for your children, and you are preparing them well. The life skills you are affording your children now will be attributes they will need to get ahead in life.
Make your move to Australia a little easier
It’s a good idea to visit Australia before you move to reduce the amount of stress your children will experience anticipating their new school and social environment. You might also find this article on Australian public schools helpful.
If you’d like assistance applying for your Australian visa, our team of experts is ready to make the whole process easier. Get in touch via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +613 (0) 8651 4500 (Australia) or +27 (0) 21 657 1526 (South Africa) or +44 (0) 20 7759 5307 (UK) to discuss your options in more detail.
About Robyn Vogels
Robyn Vogels founded Personnel Relocations in 2008 to support people moving to Australia. Her personal experience from across the world defined her understanding of the intense process of relocation, especially when moving with families and children. Her services simplify the process of relocation to make it comfortable and hassle-free at an affordable price.
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