Expat Children Guide
Bangalore, even though a crowded bustling city centre, is a good city for children. It has several good Indian and international schools, many excellent daycare facilities, plenty of open spaces and parks, and a variety of activities to keep the young ones entertained, learning new talents and out of trouble. Hiring a nanny is also a readily available option, for a relatively nominal fee.
If you have kids, it is a good idea to choose an apartment complex or a gated community that offers facilities for children like a swimming pool, sandpit, and/or children’s park. Like any major city, the downtown centre can be chaotic, as are most roads so designating a safe ‘play space’ is a good idea. Like everywhere, you’ll need to keep a close eye on young ones in Bangalore, since traffic can be dangerous and unpredictable, and children tend to be curious about some of the unhygienic aspects of the city, such as stray animals, waste on the street, etc. Though stray dogs, and other street animals, tend to be quite friendly, it’s a good idea to avoid much petting time since many of these animals carry fleas and other bugs.
Overall, children in Bangalore can have an innocent and rather sheltered upbringing compared to the west, so depending on your child’s age, this may require more adapting. Young people in India tend, on the whole, to be far more obedient to their parents and less rebellious or independent than most children from the western world. They are more accountable to their parents when it comes to academic performance (on which there is a huge emphasis in India) and in their social lives as well. Indian youngsters tend to develop romantic relationships somewhat later than those in the west, and mixing with members of the opposite sex is not encouraged, even in the pre-teen stage. This is, of course, changing with increased global exposure and lifestyles, and while none of this need is judged (in either a positive or negative light), it is a cultural difference that bears keeping in mind, particularly for teens. For younger ones the transition will likely be smoother and of a more inquisitive nature, and in general, their Indian peers will be very inclusive and welcoming.
You can prepare your children to settle in a new environment by showing them pictures, videos, and travel brochures of Bangalore and also introducing them to Indian food. Younger kids can watch this Youtube video about a 5-year old ex-pat child in Bangalore.