Preparing Your Children for an International Move

 

Living as an expat in Qatar there will likely come a time when you need to relocate. When there is a need to relocate and you’re single it’s one thing, but to move from Qatar as a family may cause a lot more concern. Most of the time, children – who thrive on routine – may become greatly affected by change. The effects of relocation vary from one child to another. Children who are already in their adolescent years may find it more difficult to relocate from Qatar than their younger siblings.

A foreign environment brings strong emotional and psychological demands for children. Preparing your kids emotionally will help with a more seamless transition.

What are the risks and how to overcome them?

●     Language BarrierArabic is Qatar’s primary language. Although the majority of people do speak English, foreign languages are still a concern. Children may have a hard time adjusting. If you’re moving overseas, you can look for international schools or at the very least a community (and schools) that are mostly the same ethnicity as yourself to help your children adapt to their new home. New friends will be able to introduce them progressively to the culture and traditions of the new country. Acquainting your children with the language by teaching them basic words is a big help so they don’t feel so isolated.

 ●      Culture Shock – Most of the local people in Qatar are Muslim, which means their culture may be different from Western cultures. If your children have grown up in, or have spent a large period of time living in Qatar, a new cultural experience may be overwhelming, especially if you are relocating with teenagers. Social practices can, in some ways, differ especially in the way of life and set of attitudes. Orienting your children beforehand and explaining the reason for your move will greatly help them cope. It is important to guide them and give them time to adjust properly. Remember to be patient, as everyone in your family will adjust differently.

 ●      Detachment – Children may feel anxiety or seem introverted at first. This change in attitude is completely normal. Leaving their friends and loved ones behind can make them feel detached. This applies to toddlers and teens alike. Be good-natured and considerate at this stage. If they have a hobby or interest, involve them in sporting teams, groups or events to help them find new acquaintances.

 ●      Climate – The weather in Qatar can reach extremes. Summer temperatures in the city can hit up to 45 degrees Celcius or more. If you’re moving to a colder climate, such as the UK, your kids may not want to play outdoors during winter. Children who are used to the outdoors may find this frustrating. The only time that they can enjoy the outdoors is during summer, when they can go to the parks. Look for indoor activity centres, such as trampoline parks and play gyms for little ones.

There are many other ways of preparing your child for an international move from Qatar. Get them involved in the packing of their belongings, which is also a great time to declutter.

Once you’ve arrived in your new destination, introduce your kids to their neighbourhood parks, malls and recreational centres. You can also talk to your children’s teachers so they may be able to assist with the transition phase. Most of all, remember to be kind and patient and encourage your kids with new possibilities and opportunities once they’ve left Qatar.

For more information, talk the professional international movers at Allied Pickfords.

 

Allied Pickfords will assist you as you start your journey to or from Qatar. For further information and queries, you may contact us through our website alliedpickfords.qa or our Qatar Branch at Allied Pickfords Qatar, Palm Tower B, Office 4702 West Bay, Doha, Qatar, Tel: +974.4016.6222, Fax: +974.4016.6223.

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