Age At Which It Becomes More Difficult To Acquire Language 5 Key Considerations When Moving Abroad With Children

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5 Key Considerations When Moving Abroad With Children

Are you looking for a better life for your children?

This is a common reason why families consider moving abroad. The opportunity to have a more spacious home, spend weekends at the beach and enjoy the outdoors.

Sounds great in theory. As an article in the United Arab Emirates newspaper The National highlighted last week, children don’t always see their discipline in the same light.

The article, which describes the cases of several British expatriate families and the problematic behavior their children exhibit after moving abroad, points to what psychologists call Expat Child Syndrome (ECS).

Classic symptoms of ECS are said to be uncooperative or disruptive behavior, arguments with siblings, regressive eating habits, a rosy attachment to the family homeland, and a refusal to see merit in anything the new location offers.

While for some children the effects may be short-lived as they adjust to the transition, for others the hurt and unhappiness caused by having their lives disrupted can be more profound and long-lasting.

Of course, there are strong arguments in favor of an international upbringing, even if your children don’t appreciate them at the time. For example, it can make them more culturally open-minded and knowledgeable, more adaptable in life and work, teach them foreign languages ​​and create different leisure opportunities.

However, the positives will not always outweigh the negatives.

So here are some things to consider:

1) Age

In general, it is more difficult to remove older children from the existing school environment, especially when they are in or near difficult exam years. And they’re more likely to have friends they don’t want to leave (and they’ll curse you out loud for it!).

2) Spatial and Cultural Similarities

The degree of disintegration and subsequent integration also depends on where you move. Your children will have a closer cultural affinity with some countries than others, which should make the transition easier, especially if there are no language barriers to overcome. If you are close enough to return home often to see family and friends, so much the better.

3) Education

How good is the system in your target location? What quality of education will your children receive? How big are the schools and the classes within them (smaller schools and class sizes may be less intimidating as a new applicant)?

Are you thinking of sending your children to an international school with other foreign children, or will they go to a local school? An international school may offer less of an initial adjustment – especially if you’re moving to a country where another language is spoken – but in the long run, local schools can help your children better integrate into the wider community.

4) To enjoy rest

It’s important that your children see significant benefits from moving abroad, and offering them the chance to indulge in their favorite pastimes or try new ones is one way to do that.

Maybe they can go surfing or horse riding or skiing on the weekends? Maybe you will have a pool in your backyard?

Of course, the flip side is to avoid SBS – Spoiled Brat Syndrome!

5) Health and Safety

The quality of medical care you can get in your destination country is a factor in these considerations (and let’s face it, with kids you know you’ll use!).

But health is also about staying well. And that includes decent drinking water, good sanitation, access to quality food, low levels of environmental pollutants, and more.

Then there is personal security. There is a lot of attention and concern about knife crime in the UK at the moment. In the US, it’s a gun. But are these more headline-grabbing than real threats?

What about drug abuse, racial and religious intolerance, sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, and child abuse?

There’s no need to start hyperventilating over every possible harm your child could do, but as a parent, it’s natural to consider them.

Children can be flexible, but don’t underestimate how difficult it can be for them to break away from their small, safe world and jump into a new world. So ask yourself – will they thank you in the long run?

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