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Author Topic: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!  (Read 2441 times)

Offline zatexnz

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Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« on: May 05, 2007, 06:01:35 am »
Preparing Your Children for the Big Move!

Emigrating with children can be quite a challenge for any family and we have detailed some handy tips to help alleviate some of the problems a family may encounter. Having said this, your children will probably be far more relaxed about the big move and less stressed than you are, and can’t wait to settle into their new environment.

Communication

Discuss the idea of moving to a new country early on in the process, this will give your child time to get used to the idea and for you to address any questions or worries your child may have.
Be totally honest when answering any worries (leaving best friends, favourite cousin or school behind)
Treat negative feelings from your child with sympathy
Be honest about your feelings and discuss how you coped with any changes at their age
Be aware of any changes in your child’s behaviour and look out for signs of stress – particularly if they become anxious or withdrawn
Involve them in the planning and decision making – for example, plan out what their new room will look like or involve them in looking for a new school.

Babies and Toddlers

Children who are under six will be easier to move than older children will. They may not have developed close friendships or have a close knit group of friends. However, they will be less able to articulate their feelings than older children, and here are some useful tips which can help avoid any feelings of confusion or anxiety:
Make sure that your child is reassured that toys that are packed will be returned on arrival, and you aren’t just throwing them away.
Young children feel more secure when they are in familiar surroundings. It may be a good idea to pack some of their bedroom furniture to make them feel more at home in their new surroundings.
Once you have settled, you could discuss the possibility of new furniture, like a new bed.
You may feel that arranging their new room in a similar way to their old room may make them feel more at home.
Consider delaying any major change such as moving them from a cot to a bed, or toilet/potty training until they settle into their new home.
Consider asking a close relative or friend to look after your child during the actual move.

School Age Children

Children in early primary school aren’t as flexible as younger children. However, they may be more able to communicate their feelings better and with your support will be able to experience a smooth transition. Children of primary and early secondary schooling could be more enthusiastic about the challenges of moving. Here are some tips which may help:
Consider moving in the middle of the school year. Your children will have more opportunity to make friends more quickly, rather than having the whole summer to live through!
If your child is shy, you may want to consider moving during school holidays to let them get used to their new surroundings first. They may not appreciate the limelight for being the “new kid at school” before they’ve been given a chance to settle into their new home.
Consider keeping to the same mealtimes and bedtimes. Children often feel reassured with familiar routine.

Teenagers

Don’t be surprised if your teenager has more difficulty getting used to the idea of emigrating than your younger children. Remember that they are more aware of what is happening than younger children are and they have probably spent a lot of time building up close friendships or they may have a romantic relationship. This can lead them to rebel or refuse to move with you.

Here are some tips that you may find useful:
Consider avoiding statements of reassurance such as “you’ll make lots of new friends” that may not necessarily happen
Listen to their fears and concerns, and discuss any changes you had to make at their age.
Consider planning a trip back home after you have settled so that they can see their friends again
Consider allowing them flexibility in planning their new room that they can retreat to, particularly during the initial weeks in your new country.

Stay positive and the rest of your family will be reassured!

overseas-emigration uk
« Last Edit: May 05, 2007, 06:03:25 am by zatexnz »
lekker sweet as, y'all
~ Colleen

Offline zatexnz

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Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2007, 06:04:51 am »
Moving with a Family

Moving with a family can be challenging. There are a lot of changes going on for you and your family. That's why it is critical to spend some time helping your kids cope with the changes going on around them. The advice set out in this guide will help your move go more smoothly.

When to Move School Age Kids
When your kids are school age, you might be tempted to plan your move for the school holidays. In reality, this can actually make things harder for your kids. School is most likely the first place your kids can be assured of making friends. Thus, moving during the school holidays places your child in unfamiliar and new surroundings at a time when their chances of making friends are low.

As school resumes, your child may feel even more left out. As the first day return to school is filled with the excitement and hustle and bustle that occurs after a holiday vacation, your child may feel like a stranger.
When you schedule your move during the school year, it allows your kids to go from one social setting to another.
The teacher and the other kids will be more willing to show your child some extra special attention when they are the only new person.
Does Age Make a Difference?

Generally speaking, the younger the child, the better they will cope with the transition of moving to a new home.
Very young children and infants may be confused. It is a good idea to try to explain to them what's happening and make it like an adventure.
The biggest worry that school age children endure is whether they will make new friends and fit in easily a their new school.
Because teenagers' friends provide them with a sense of identity, it is more difficult for teens to feel comfortable with the idea of moving to a new home.

Before the Move

As you start making plans for your move, remember to focus on what your kids can look forward to.
After all, if you see your move as an exciting adventure, your kids will also be very enthusiastic.
Right from the start, you might want to take them with you on house-hunting adventures. In cases where it might not be practical to have them tagging along, don't forget to bring back pictures of hot prospects you're considering.
After you've found the new home, be sure to take pictures of local places of interest.

Communication is the Key

Don't forget to keep the channels of communication open. Before and during your move, encourage your kids to tell you about their uncertainties.
Most likely, you're probably feeling a little nervous about moving too (no matter how promising your new situation is likely to be).
After your move, spend time together with your family. Listen to each other's stories so that you can be sure how everyone is coping with the change.

Getting the Kids Involved
It's only natural that your kids will want to be involved with what's going on. Some examples of ways to get your kids involved are:

Asking them to help plan for and organize your garage sale. They could make colorful posters to stick up around the neighborhood.
Allowing them to choose a small number of toys or other items to keep with them on moving day.
Empowering them by letting them pack and label a few of their own boxes
Making sure they have a special job to take care of on moving day. This will help them feel as if they're making a valuable contribution.
Allowing them to decide how their new rooms should decorated and arranged.

What About Childcare?

Undoubtedly you will be offered a lot of conflicting advice whether you should keep your kids with you on moving day or arrange childcare.
Keep in mind that you are the best judge of what's right for your kids.

Saying Goodbye

It is critical that your children have the enough time to say good-bye to the family members and friends they're leaving behind.
You should encourage them to exchange contact information. Fortunately, for most of us today, our friends are only a few keystrokes away via e-mail.

Settling In

Understand that it is like that there may be a grieving period for children…it may last a few weeks, perhaps even a few months. Here are a few easy things you can do to make moving easier for your kids.

Investigate and explore your new neighborhood together. Look for new and exciting things.
Go to your new child's school with them beforehand…walk around the new school together to help them find their bearings.
Accompany your kids on their route to school until they are comfortable traveling by themselves.
Seek out after-school activities where your children can make new friends with similar interests.
Don't forget to encourage them to keep in touch with old friends.

Keeping an Eye Out for Early Warning Signs

A major change is always difficult for a child. Even the most well adjusted child can have difficulty coping with moving.
Be watchful, it's important to pick up on early warning signs that your child may need extra help adjusting.

Here are some things to watch out for

Withdrawn behavior
Loss of appetite
Problems sleeping, or regular nightmares
Outbursts of anger or tears
Reluctance to stray far from the house or family
Difficulty making new friends

Additional Hints for Moving Kids

There are children's books that help kids come to terms and understand an upcoming move, and cope with some of the feelings they may be experiencing.
If you've got young children, it's important to remove dangerous situations and to child proof your home.
The sooner you teach your kids your new address and phone number, the better.
http://www.123movers.com/guides/movingyourfamilytips.asp
lekker sweet as, y'all
~ Colleen

SA Going to NZ Advice Forum

Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2007, 06:04:51 am »

Offline zatexnz

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Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2007, 06:05:43 am »
How to pack kids' stuff
Packing Kids' Stuff
From Diane Schmidt,
Your Guide to Moving.
Moving with kids is always a little challenging, especially if they are resistant to the move itself. The trick is to prepare them for moving then get them involved. By staying involved in the process, they'll feel they're part of a team and more in control of a situation where they sometimes feel helpless.


Where to Start?

Prepare Them For the Move:

First, tell your child about the move. Try to explain why you're moving and how it will affect them. Read more...
Prepare them for moving. Get them involved; hold family meetings; have moving discussions. Read more...
Purchase or loan books from the library to help kids move.

Gather What You'll Need

Remember throughout this process to remain sensitive to how your child is experiencing this move. Moving is traumatic, so children will feel scared and uncertain.

Take a Trip to an Office Supply Store or Craft Store

With your child, visit a craft store or office supply store and check out some fun materials for them to use to pack their stuff, such as:

Colorful stickers
Markers
Special Box: This is where they can keep their essentials - the things they'll need for the trip
Fun Labels: To decorate and identify their boxes
A Journal or Diary: to record the move event
Address Book
Scrapbook: to keep photos and memorabilia of friends, school, and achievements

Get Packing Supplies

Medium and Large-sized Boxes (4-6 cubic feet)
Packing Tape
Bubblewrap
Blank Newsprint
Marker to Label
Plastic bins For Donations

Determine What to Pack

Go Through the Child's Room With Them
During this step, be aware that children will try to hold onto their things a little more tightly than they usually would. Moving is all about change and the more their lives are changing, the tighter they'll hold on to the things they can. Children often feel like their losing so many things they love when they move - school, friends, teachers, playgrounds, a home they love - that they'll want to keep that old doll or ragged sweater - things that make them feel secure.


If possible, provide older children with a blueprint or room dimensions of their own space. Describe what things their room will hold or if new furniture may be needed. Try to get them to imagine their new space and start to design how they'd like their new room to look - talk about colors and designs, storage ideas, work spaces and reading spots. This will help them sort and select the items they want to keep for their new spaces.

Children 0-6: Go through their toys, books and clothes with them to determine what belongs in the "keep pile" and what belongs in the "sell or donate" pile. You may also want to decide at this point which pieces of furniture will be moved. If a child is starting to out grow a bed, think about selling it then purchasing a new one after your move.

Children 7-11: Go through their room with them, giving instructions on what needs to be sorted, the rules around why something gets moved (do they use it or wear it?), and ask them to make their own keep and donate piles.
Provide them with plastic bins where they can store the things they want to sell or donate. Try to get children excited or interested in donating their items to a local charity or selling them in a garage sale.

After they've made their piles, go through both to ensure they're giving away what's appropriate and not keeping things they don't need. Make sure you remain sensitive to what they're asking to keep: because moving is traumatic and sometimes children feel like their losing everything they once loved, they may try to hold onto their things a little tighter.


12 and Older: For kids this age, allow them to do as much of the sorting and packing as possible. Feeling in control of their own spaces is important at this age, specifically if they're feeling that the rest of the move is out of their control. Try to be tolerant of their decisions and respect their spaces. Again, provide them with keep and donate bins so they can sort their things accordingly.

Get Packing

Prepare the Essentials Box
Their essentials box should contain all those things they'll need for the trip to the new house and for the first few nights. This box won't contain clothes or toiletries, but items that they want to keep them occupied or to remind them of their old home. Most children pack a few books, activity books, puzzles, address books, diaries, MP3 players or handheld computer games. Encourage children to think ahead and to have things at hand to keep them occupied.


Packing

Pack the clothes, shoes and practical items they'll need first. Make sure you include enough supplies for the trip and for a few nights at the new place. This will allow time for the moving truck to arrive and/or for unpacking of boxes.

Depending on your child's age, you may need to do most of the packing. Even if you have a very young child, you can ask them to label or decorate the packed boxes or help seal them with the packing tape.

Older children can do a lot of their own packing - just make sure they have instructions on how to pack things, making sure you're close at hand for questions or concerns.

Make sure that all liquids are properly closed or emptied before they're packed. Squirt guns, chemistry sets and paints all need to be checked before being packed.
http://moving.about.com/od/movingchildrenandteens/a/packing_kids.htm
lekker sweet as, y'all
~ Colleen

Offline Nolan

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Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2007, 09:28:42 am »
Cool info, thanks Colleen  :)

Offline Happy Expat

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Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2007, 09:48:31 am »
Cool, a lot of people are going to appreciate this Colleen O0


Offline zatexnz

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Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2007, 06:24:12 pm »
You're welcome!
lekker sweet as, y'all
~ Colleen

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Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2007, 06:48:28 am »
Nice ideas here and will come in handy later.  Thanks Colleen.

SA Going to NZ Advice Forum

Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2007, 06:48:28 am »

Offline Marilize

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Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2007, 11:45:57 am »
I'd add two things for the parents of younger kids - firstly, create playtime and make friends asap.  When you arrive you have so many things to do that you don't want to waste a minute, but going to a park and letting them play for an hour a day ultimately makes your life so much easier.  If your child won't be going to school immediately, make friends as soon as you can.  If you meet SAns, ask them if they know nice people with kids the same age.  Chat to other parents in the park, do whatever - kids need their own peer group, especially if they're used to nursery school. 

Also, we've gotten into the habit of discussing the day's events over the breakfast table (what we're going to do, how, when, why) so that he knows why we're shlepping him all over town. 
M

Offline Nolan

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Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2007, 04:39:38 pm »
Sound advice there Marlize, must say I wish it was us having to schlep Candice all over town  ;)  :envy:

Offline zatexnz

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Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2007, 04:40:24 pm »
Thanks for that input, Marilize! 
lekker sweet as, y'all
~ Colleen

Offline Happy Expat

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Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2007, 09:53:55 pm »
Yeah, thanks Marlize O0 It's great to hear other peoples perspective of NZ O0


Offline zatexnz

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Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2010, 08:10:42 am »
Bringing this thread up again for people like Hack, and others...  :)
lekker sweet as, y'all
~ Colleen

SA Going to NZ Advice Forum

Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2010, 08:10:42 am »

Offline Cleo23

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Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2010, 10:20:40 am »
Thanks a lot. This will come in very handy when we move. I have saved it in my special Emigration folder!
LSD/Holiday:   December 2009
EOI Lodged:    9 March 2010
EOI Selected: 10 March 2010
ITA Recd:       24 March 2010
ITA Lodged:   24 September 2010
CO Appointed: 29 October 2010

Offline nosyparkers

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Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2010, 01:30:42 pm »
Wow - thanks so much for the information and useful tips!
We have a wonderful, caring 5 year old who has given us a lot of his old toys to put in the garage sale this weekend - he's so excited about our move!

Any thoughts or tips as to entertaining kids on the long flight to NZ?

Jenny
PR - July 2010
Landed in Auckland 13th Jan 2011
Started work on 2nd May 2011
Life is beautiful!!!

Offline SaKiwiBoer

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Re: Preparing Your Children for the Big Emigration Move!
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2010, 07:41:45 pm »
Any thoughts or tips as to entertaining kids on the long flight to NZ?

That's easy...  :2funny:  :2funny:
You put them down in their seat, put the buckle on and show them how the "TV" works and they sort themselves out   :2funny:
When we came over, the first time, we had a 3.5 and a 5 year old boys. They "loved" the flights because they could play games, watch tv. They got food, sweets and drinks and the flight attendants are normally very good with kids and their "needs"...  :2funny:
They could almost not wait for us to come back to NZ a year later. The only problem we had the first time was they got cramps in their legs and especially their calves. Maybe we should have let them walk more often than we did.
You'll be fine, you'll see. Kids are a lot more resilient than what we could ever give them credit for.
Cheers, SAKB
21/03/2007-EOI submitted
18/07/2007-Selected from the Pool
07/03/2008-Receive ITA
15/05/2008-ITA Submitted-(hou duim vas)
11/12/2008-PR GRANTED-(thanx a lot!!!)

"Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." (Benjamin Franklin)