Migration – is it hard on children?

Hey dreamers!

So you are thinking about migrating to your dream destination and you have children? You’re considering taking a decision that will impact on the entire family so your brain is on fire with one question popping up after the other. I’m quite certain that amongst all those questions, 1000’s of them actually, and in all likelihood those related to your children are the ones hitting your heart the hardest, right?

For instance: – Are my children going to be ok? – Are my children going to make new friends quickly? – How will my children cope with learning a new language? – We are taking the kids away from their friends, family, grandparents, how are they going to react to the situation? – What if they don’t like it? – What are we going to do if we don’t like the school system?

Oh yes, I know the feeling, all those fundamental questions making it even harder to take the decisions and playing on your mind. But hey dreamers, I’m going to tell you something here and you are going to be gobsmacked! …. Ready?….All you’re questions have indeed nothing to do with migration or the fact that you are considering to take one of your biggest decisions ever…..YOU ARE JUST BEING A PARENT! Breathe…. and try to see the bigger picture here not just the “migration worry bubble” you’re in presently.

Because let’s be honest migration or not, staying or leaving you will still be worried about the well being of your kiddies. Just saying, but you might only be moving 20km away and still questions about friends, school and relations will pop up.

What would you do if you stayed right where you are and your child doesn’t like their school? Well, you would most likely change school right? Not a big deal….The chances are unless you’re planning on migrating to North Pole that there will be many schools and school systems to choose from. And because you are a dreamer, yes, but a smart dreamer (!) you will have done plenty or researches forehand and actually finding yourself already knowing more about the school system in Canada (or wherever your dreams are taking you) than your homeland’s school system.

Questions about the language: Guys why do you worry about learning a new skill? That’s not a worry, but a gift! Kids are talented learners and you will be amazed by their ability to adapt and learn with their peers. It took our 2 boys only 2 months before being totally fluent in English with no basis whatsoever to begin with. Our baby girl took a little longer, but that was only because we choose so. She was only 16 months old as we moved, so we decided to keep her full time home with Nat the 2 first years, with the aim she would learn French and Swiss-German first. We made sure to attend playgroups and activities to mix up with little English speaking friends. By the age of 4 she started pre-school 2 days a week to make sure her English would pick up nicely before starting school.

Questions about the relatives… Most probably the hardest part.  Yes, they are going to miss them to a certain point. Our advise, talk about it, about the feelings (yours, theirs) when they arise. As a matter of fact, we found we have developed different relations with the grandparents over the time. Our kids are so happy whenever the grandparents come to visit and stay in Australia for 5-6 weeks at a time. Very special moments.

And yes, relationships are both ways, and people left behind will be having a hard time to accept. But if they love you truly they will eventually understand and accept. Understand that the process might take some time. They want your happiness and I’m sure they will be immensely proud to see you rising to the person you are, true to yourself and teaching your children the power of choosing what to do with their lives. Relations will adapt to the new situation….

You will always be worried about your children where ever you are in the world. Please don’t let the fact that you are a parent ruin what could be a beautiful big family adventure. Because yes, this is how our children see this whole migration thing…. A big Adventure!

We have always included our children in our discussions and talks, involved them in the process, asking for and value their opinions and ideas. We bought them journals and cameras to record THEIR big Adventure.

So with the question, is it hard on the children, well I personally think it’s only going to be as hard as you make it complicated… you get me here right?

– You make a big deal out of it, they’re going to struggle.

– You happily and positively minded embrace the adventure (knowing that there will be ups and downs, bumps and detour along the way)  and they will be so happy about discovering new horizons, cultures, peoples….. They will grow into open-minded young souls. Their eyes will see the world differently, believe me. Once you open the door, perspectives will change…

As we always say, home is us 5, as long as we are together, everything is perfect! We are true to ourselves, we create our happiness and as parents we try to teach these values to our children.

xx Don’t only dream your life, live your dream xxx

yours in inspiration, NC

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