Q. How do you handle relocating children and teens?
Answer: While relocation is a stressful event for the adults, it is often the most stressful on the children. Adjustment can be very difficult. They don’t want to leave their friends, schools and their familiar surroundings. Great care and consideration must be taken for their “new adventure” ahead.
Create activities for the children to do. Encourage the teenager in your household to research the new area they are relocating to. Visit the library and the bookstores and collect information on the area you will be moving to. Check the school systems and see what programs they have that interest your teen.
Children should be encouraged to begin a scrapbook and journal of their departure City as well as one in their destination City. Provide them with an address book so they can keep addresses of their friends and have them include emails addresses and phone numbers.
Younger children may enjoy packing a box of their favorite belongings themselves. Provide each child with a packing carton and suggest they put stuffed animals and other non-fragile items. Encourage them to help with the unpacking. It could be a great deal of fun rediscovering old favorites.
Try to anticipate questions and concerns in advance. Always be positive about the move and always refer to it as an adventure. Children will mimic what they see.
Q: What are some helpful hints for a successful overseas move?
Answer: The adjustments a family must make for an overseas assignment can be significant. Recognizing the challenges you are facing are common to many people in the same situation.
Here are some coping strategies. Talk with others who have been or are currently on an overseas assignment. This will help you prepare for the initial stress of relocating.
In many locations there is already a group of expatriates who have formed a “social club” and opportunities to become involved in activities.
Most families are in the same situation and it is a welcome support group for everyone. Religious and sporting activities are other possibilities for easing the stress of transition. Whatever the outlet you choose, making the effort to reach out and become involved will help make the most out of your new experience.
Q. What things should I consider before relocating my family?
Answer: Think through the following considerations when you are presented with the opportunity for a better or different job. This will be beneficial for you and your family both short and long-term.
One of the most important factors when considering relocating your family to a new location is the cost of living comparison. Just knowing your new salary is not enough. You will need to know, roughly the difference you will encounter in all of the expenses you regularly incur. That means doing some research to know what you should expect to pay for the expenses you are currently spending. Not only should your monthly mortgage or rent be included, but you must consider utilities, food, child care, property taxes and insurance costs.
The second thing you need to consider is dealing with your current home. You will need a plan for selling or renting your home.
Because you may be in a tight time frame, you may want to work with a real estate agent. Your real estate agent can provide you with a market analysis for your property; provide a marketing strategy and the time it will take to market your home.
The third thing you will need to consider is your moving expenses. If your employer does not cover moving your household goods, you will need to obtain 3 estimates from reputable companies. Most real estate companies have moving companies that they partner with and can provide you with company names.
Relocation is stressful. Take the time to see how this move will affect you financially, personally and professionally. Do your research, involve your family in the decision making process as much as possible. By taking the time you will more likely enjoy the transition to your new location.