Every parent is bound to have doubts when they relocate with children and there may be a wide range of things that concern you are the move overseas. Here are five concerns that many expatriates have together with our advice on how you can try and deal with them.
Will my child have *Singaporean/Indian/American/Chinese accent? *delete as appropriate
If your child spends a great deal of time with other children that have a strong accent and/or is taught by someone with that accent then it is highly likely that he or she will adopt a similar accident. This can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand it can help your child to feel like he or she fits in with the environment in which you are living. However, you may prefer him or her to speak your own accent and you may feel like you lose a sense of a bond.
Will my child resent me for taking him or her away from friends and family?
The older your child is, the more likely that they may resent you for taking them away from the people and places they love. The key to overcoming this is to ensure that you are open and honest with them at all times. Encourage them to be actively ask anything they like about the move overseas. Involve them in decisions and most importantly of all, don’t hide anything from them.
How can I ensure that my child maintains a relationship with friends and family at home?
Children can be very quick to adapt to a new environment and you may be surprised at the speed at which they are able to forget about friends and family back home. As a parent you will need to make an effort to ensure that your child remains in regular contact with the people who are important. Take the lead in arranging Skype calls, sending emails and letters and assisting your child to put parcels together to mark Birthdays, Christmas and special occasions.
Will my child be bullied because he or she is different?
There is a chance that you child may be teased because he or she is different. However, it’s important to remember that schoolyard taunting is a regular part of most children’s lives and kids will always find one thing or another to make fun of each other. As a parent you need to be able to distinguish mild mockery from bullying. If you observe changes in your child’s behavior and are concerned that their experiences at school are having a detrimental effect on their emotional wellbeing then you should talk to the school and ask them to take action. Conversely you may actually find that your child is more popular as a result of their differences. It is also worth remembering that the majority of expat destinations throughout the world offer multicultural schools were children of all nationalities are educated together. This will mean that your child is not that different at all.
Will my child’s education suffer?
It is critical that, when it comes to your child’s education, you do as much research as you can before you move. Join forums, do online research, review school records and speak to the parents and teachers at the schools that you are interested in. When you do relocate, ensure that you keep a close eye on your child’s progress. If you believe that he or she is not making the progress they should, you may need to reconsider your options.
Have you relocated with children? What did you worry about and how did you overcome any problems that you encountered? Leave a comment and share your experiences with our readers.