Moving to another country is an exciting time for families. It usually means a good job for one or both parents and the chance to experience a new culture. Your children may not share your enthusiasm, so it’s important to get them involved in the whole move right from the start.
Preparing to Move
Moving with young children is far easier than when they reach their teenage years. Young children’s lives are centred around their home and their parents and family. They go to school or play group, but outings and play dates are organised by parents. It’s far easier to instil enthusiasm into younger children and to get them involved in the whole move.
Go to the library or scour the internet for children-friendly information about their new homeland. Obviously focus on all the plus points – new places to visit, new culture, new friends and a new school. Depending on where you’re going, lots of sunshine, leading to the ability to be outdoors for much of the year, can be a tremendous draw card for young children. On the flip side, all young kids love snow!
Let Them Help
Keep your children involved in the moving and packing process – assuming they want to be. Let them decide which toys they want to take with them. Perhaps encouraging them to donate unwanted items to the local charity shop, explaining how other children will benefit from their donations. Let them pack their own box/boxes, even if you or the removal company have to repack it/them later. They could even decorate their packing boxes; anything to make the move seem like fun.
Preschool and School
Finding the best school for your little ones is obviously a priority. This will also influence where you’ll be living. If possible, organise your kids’ place of learning before you leave for far off places, so you can show them exactly where they’ll be going to school. Some schools are happy to organise a pen pal system, so your kiddies will at least know one child when they start school. If the school you have chosen doesn’t engage in this system, you can always ask.
Take a Few Precious Items by Air
It’s important for little ones to have familiar items around them to make them feel at home. Take a few of their favourite toys, blankets, ornaments, games or books on the plane with you, so you can immediately make any room an instant “home from home”.
No matter how nervous you are about your new life, don’t let your children sense it. Be enthusiastic and point out all the positive points. Persuade family and friends to do the same – even though they probably don’t want you to go! Tell the kiddies that Grandma and Granddad will be coming to visit, and Auntie Carly is coming for Christmas. The children need to know that they’re not losing those familiar faces. As long as you are enjoying yourself, your precious little ones will follow suit.
John Mason’s Moving Gang: familiar faces to move the whole family
The Moving Gang is a collection of four friendly characters designed to appeal to the whole family. These characters are inspired to help children understand what is happening, giving them characters and situations they can relate to – and they give parents a useful conversation starter too. With the Moving Gang, relocating can fast become a fun and familiar adventure, a chance to share travelling tales and to see and share their new corner of the world.
Monty Moose, in Canada, loves ice hockey but has had to get used to the cold. Kev Koala enjoys Australia’s warm climate so much he’s more likely to be found on the beach than up a tree. Stanley the Bear is a sleepy, friendly fellow, who spends his life moving from cave to cave across the United States, with each move resulting in him finding the ideal spot. The Moving Gang to hibernate. While tomboy Khloe Kiwi, the only girl in the gang, has found a common interest to bond with the others: she loves rugby in her new home country New Zealand.
All the characters have been drawn and created just for John Mason International. Surveyors will provide your children with a cuddly member of The Moving Gang, as well as details on how to download special moving day activity sheets from the dedicated Moving Gang website. Meet the Moving Gang today at www.movinggang.com.