How to Make your Move Less Emotional for your Family

When moving to the Philippines, many expats are impressed by the hospitable nature of their new work colleagues, with the locals priding themselves on their welcoming attitude. Along with the national friendliness, it is not hard to fall in love with the scenic beaches, balmy tropical weather, casual urban lifestyle and cheap cost of living. While travelling from one country to another for work can be exciting for many of us, it is not so easy when you are relocating with your family.

International moves can take the largest toll on kids, with culture shock being one of the biggest issues. Children may have a hard time coping with the language barrier, adapting to their new environment and transitioning to a completely different lifestyle.

Children and residential mobility – Making your move less emotional for kids

When it comes to relocating with your family to the Philippines, open communication is essential. Keeping your kids up-to-date and involved in the moving process can help ease their emotional anxiety.

  1. Inform your children early.

    Children may be particularly emotional when it comes to leaving their friends behind so informing them early can help them prepare for any separation anxiety. Explain why you are moving in a simple and precise manner and try to list the benefits of the new move.

    Allow your kids to be sad. Although it is reasonable for them to feel upset and powerless in the decisions over their future, parents should make sure that they patiently guide their children through the emotional struggle. Allowing them to feel their emotions then move on naturally can have a huge impact during the transition.

  2. Talk to them about the advantages of relocating.

    The stress of relocating can have a different effect on each child. To help them cope with the change, it is essential that parents talk to their kids about the advantages associated with the international relocation. Suggest some new adventures to look forward to, such as kid-friendly places you can visit during summer in the Philippines. Discuss what they expect from their new school experiences and show them pictures of their new neighborhood so they can familiarize themselves with the locality.

  3. Involve them in the process of moving.

    Involving your children in the process of relocating can help ease the emotional baggage by keeping their minds busy. As they have most likely spent a great deal of time in your current home, it is a great chance to declutter, set aside the clothes they’ve outgrown to give to charity or compile any old mememtos that you want to keep for years to come.

    Support and encourage your kids’ opinions and assess their point of view. Acknowledge the fact that they are being a great help.

  4. Give them opportunities to make friends.

    Accompany your kids to a local clubhouse, to the park or check out any exciting events that are occurring around Manila. Acquaint them with other children in the neighbourhood. Take short walks so they can familiarise themselves with their local area to help them get used to the environment.

  5. Connect frequently with relatives and loved ones.
    Technology is very helpful when it comes to connecting friends and family around the globe. Set aside regular times for your children to communicate with their friends through video calling and smartphone apps to help to allow them to maintain familiar relationships at home.

Generally, Filipinos are family-oriented and have a warm welcome for expats, so if you’re open and friendly yourself and mention you have children in your workplace you could soon find yourself invited to family-related work gatherings, which will go a great way to helping your children – and you - assimilate. 

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