Moving to a completely new country like China can be quite a daunting task, and a little bit exciting as well. The jitters can really set in when you are planning a move with children. Concerns over your children/child transitioning to a new cultural set up, new school, new friends and a new environment are bound to make you re-think the decision many times before the actual move.
The good news is that the transition can be made easy if you prepare yourself and your children well in advance. It is usually the fear of the unknown that keeps you awake at night.
The Chinese love children and they are one of the few modern cultures that allow children to be children. There are many good international schools, hospitals and an overall positive environment in China. So rest assured, as these are not the things you should worry about.
Tips on how to prepare your children when moving to China
- Talk about the concept of shifting to your little ones. Watch movies, read books and look at pictures about China to prepare them and create a positive outlook. Also, when packing, make sure that you carry things that your kids are attached to and draw comfort from like a particular toy, blanket or book.
- The move can be more of a challenge for your older kids who are in middle school or high school. They feel the pinch the most, having to leave their friends behind and the uphill task of making new friends. Talk to them the same way as you would to your younger children. Allow them to carry things that mean a lot to them, and help them feel connected by personally taking an interest in saving their friend’s contact details.
- One way to engage older children for a move to China is by involving them in making decisions about the house you are going to live in, the neighborhood, the school. Having discussions on their new rooms and the interesting things that they will get to do once in China is a winner in most cases.
- When moving with a child who has problems adjusting even in the current situation, you might also consider professional counseling.
China can open up a whole new world for your children. With the world only becoming smaller by the minute, multiculturalism is something that they can benefit from. Always remember that you know your child the best and will be able to take the correct decisions for them.
Founders of havingababyinchina.com, Jeremy and Jacquelyn have four children. The first three were born in three different hospitals in China and the last was born at home in the US. Jeremy and Jacquelyn created havingababyinchina.com in 2009 after they found little information for foreigners having babies in China. They love connecting with other foreigners having babies. Learn more about them on the about page.