Your child, the Global citizen.
You might not see it now, but the future is bright for a child who has been exposed to the global world.
The long term, life-changing benefits. Even in my personal experience, these benefits outweigh any immediate concerns you might have. Can I ask, “Will your concerns still be relevant in five years from now?”
In our experience of helping families move, usually, anything which is concerning the parents pre-move is likely to be a short term issue. “Will the child like their new school, will they make friends, will they miss their old friends?”. I assure you, as I stated in the previous article, these are worries, that we as parents conjure up with our own lifelong experience, children don’t plan that far ahead.
That said, let us look at these positive outcomes and remember these are lifelong skills you will be imparting to your child, be proud of that.
This is perhaps one of the most obvious. New cultures, new traditions, new tastes! Just about everything will be a little different. Your children will have a global awareness and perhaps a keen interest in travel now that they understand geographically, where everything is. Together with your guidance, you can open their minds to entirely new and exciting concepts and traditions. It is an exciting time, embrace this and help them learn in this hands-on classroom.
Your child is going to understand that everyone is allowed an opinion and a right to believe in something that your own child might not believe in. This could be new political beliefs, religious or traditional beliefs. It could also be that they must accept something as simple as Santa Clause versus a SinteKlaas – who brings presents to Dutch children on the 15th of December already. Or that in France, there is not a tooth fairy but a tooth mouse. Children around them will perhaps be quite different and that is OK. Which new traditions will you participate in? Discuss this with your child, research online and start the tour of discovery.
Culture and Social Awareness
Depending on the country you are moving to this could be more immersive or move varied. If for example, you are heading to India that might be unavoidably immersive and an extremely different cultural experience than say a move to England. Being culturally aware is becoming more and more important for the next generation and moving abroad will open your children's eyes to this wide and vast array of traditions, colours and beliefs.
Adapting and Integrating
Just about anyone (including myself) will say that since moving abroad with their children, their children have become more flexible and adaptable to change. When children first start at their new school, they might sit back, watch, adapt to their surroundings, watch again and adapt again. “What does Mary have in her lunchbox?” Might result in you being asked to suddenly produce a similar cheese stick! A simple example, but for a minute imagine the boardroom skills your child is honing for the future.
This part of a child's personality is developing skills by watching body language, mannerisms, voice patterns. They are learning to assess hostility versus friendliness, what is acceptable and what is frowned upon. Most of all they are adapting so they can integrate. I cannot stress the importance of integration more. That goes for us as parents too, integration is the key to our happiness, to our success and self-awareness. When we are self-aware, we become confident. Integration is the key to all of this.
To be moving a child overseas is quite possibly something you have never had the opportunity of doing. You know that the world is changing, the future generation will use the world as their oyster. The life skills you are affording your children now will be attributes they will need to get ahead in life. The world is becoming a smaller place for your children and you are preparing them well.
Robyn and Hendrika