Moving can take a toll on your children because it means leaving the familiar behind. Facing an unknown place, the change can trigger emotions like insecurity and anxiety. Still, this doesn’t mean you should reconsider the relocation, especially if it means having a better life.
After all, a lot of parents dream of being able to send their kids to the best schools in Dubai while working or starting a business here.
Of course, you shouldn’t just let your little ones feel neglected, simmering in negative emotions caused by the change.
If you want to handle the situation correctly and potentially make relocation an exciting experience for them, consider the following six tips to help your children adjust to life in Dubai:
1. Talk to them about the move as early as possible.
No matter your circumstances, the most crucial thing to remember when preparing your kids for a move is communication.
Unlike adults, children tend to feel a more profound sense of displacement during an international move. Even if they’re a bit older, they might still be quite emotional about the change, especially if they are leaving friends and a familiar environment behind.
Because of this, you must make sure you prepare your children not just physically but also emotionally.
Make sure you tell them about the move as early as possible. Do your best to answer all their questions and be honest with them.
As you talk, don’t forget to listen to verbal and non-verbal cues. Be receptive to all their reactions, be it positive or negative. Children won’t always understand that change can come with improvements in your way of life, so always try to understand and be there for them.
And contrary to what you probably think, not talking about it until the last minute isn’t the best way to go. Telling them about your moving plans early gives them time and opportunity to feel sad about it which is healthier than burying their feelings. And be sure to comfort them when this happens.
By letting your kids know early on, they can also plan for their activities with their friends and classmates.
2. Get them involved in the process.
Besides letting your children in on the details of the move, it also helps to get them involved in the whole process. Ask them to join the planning and preparation so that they feel like the change is something they chose as well.
If you haven’t already signed an apartment lease, ask their opinion when house hunting. If not, you can seek their input in other important decisions. This way, they won’t feel like the change is forced on them.
Research as much as you can about living in Dubai. Learn where children frequent in the particular neighborhood you selected and list activities that your kids can join after you move.
If you know someone in the area, like a friend, a relative, or even the real estate agent, ask them to take pictures of the house or apartment and other key places you wish to show your kids. Showing where you will be living might help ease them into the idea of moving to Dubai.
3. Familiarize them with the new neighborhood.
One thing that makes children (and even adults) hesitate about the move is the fear of the unknown.
Upon your arrival to Dubai, everything they will face would be unfamiliar – a new home, new neighbors, a new school, and new classmates. They will also need to make new friends. And all those things can be pretty daunting.
To help them feel more comfortable, gradually introduce to them all there is to know about the city.
Research online about the famous places there and learn which fun activities you can try after the move. Find a place they could hang out in and seek out things that they can look forward to once you arrive.
Whether you use books or pictures found online, be sure to find a way for your kids to:
Get answers to their questions.
Express their curiosity.
Talk about what they think and feel about different things.
You can also try making a scrapbook of useful information and fun activities to try in Dubai to dispel any second thoughts about the move.
4. Let them say their goodbyes.
As mentioned earlier, it is important to allow your children time to feel sad about moving overseas. They are leaving everything they know and love, after all, and that amount of change can leave anyone feeling blue.
During this time, your children should be able to say their goodbyes, not only to their friends but also to the life they grew up in and are most familiar with. If you don’t let them go through this, they may start on the wrong foot when you arrive in your new home.
Just remember to keep the goodbyes cheerful by making a parting gift or choosing a keepsake to remind your children of the happy memories of the home you’re leaving behind.
Focus on bringing closure to your kids, as this would help them become mentally prepared to move on.
5. Emphasize the good things about the new place.
Moving represents a fresh start for adults, but children may not look at this the same way. To make sure they do, shine a light on the brighter side of things.
Even though younger kids can adapt more quickly than teenagers, they will still have many questions about the new place. Again, you must remain patient when answering all of their questions – all while reassuring them of what good things await during the move.
Paint a scenario of a new adventure and be sure to focus more on the positive side of things, like Dubai being a wonderfully sunny place, the beautiful beaches and parks, and plenty of fun activities they can try throughout the year.
Remember, kids are quite adept at picking up on negativity, so avoid expressing your concerns or doubts or concerns in front of them. The key is to keep them reassured of the good things that await in your new home.
6. Choose a school carefully.
Since they will be spending most of their time at school, you need to be extra careful when selecting an institution for your children.
The good news is that the best schools in Dubai offer various curriculums covering different cultures, owing to its diverse expat population. Some even have international accreditation and are recognized globally for setting higher standards for learning.
To make the transition easier, consider enrolling your kids in a school with the same curriculum as the one they attended before. Not only will this make their studies so much easier to adjust to, but it will also help them feel more comfortable in the new learning environment.
Make Moving to Dubai Attractive to Your Kids
Dubai is a famous place where many adults come to grow in their businesses and careers.
The good news is, you can also make the place quite appealing to your kids by following the tips listed in this article.