It’s a big move though, and there are certain steps you can take to ensure a smooth transition for children to Australia.
Let’s Go! Global are proud to be thought of as the loveliest brand in Australian Migration and pride ourselves on supporting all members of the family through the biggest move of their lives. For a free consultation simply take our online visa assessment.
If we cast our minds back to our own school days we’ll remember certain people moving to Australia with kids; the announcements, the questions, the farewell assemblies and the goodbyes. When we waved farewell on their last day of term we weren’t old enough to think of what it meant for them, or how they felt and now that you’re planning on moving to Australia with children yourself we should think about the steps we can take to make the the move less traumatic.
Yes, they will notice a different environment but moving to Australia with young kids is more about feelings than places. They will feel the excitement and sense the changes and as long as you don’t expose them to the more stressful elements of emigrating then they should cope with the change just fine.
Many parents look to emigrate to Australia with their children at this age for this very reason, and it allows them to get used to the Australian school system and environment at a young age so that you’re not asking them to adapt immediately to a new middle, or even senior school.
Moving to Australia with children of middle school age requires a little more foresight and planning. By this age children have started to form attachments outside of their immediate family, maybe distant relatives and certainly friends at school. At this age moving becomes more of change in environment and the feelings become a little more buried.
How to prepare children for a move to Australia
At this age we need to consider both feelings and reactions to a change in environment. As we all know, children at this age can put on a brave face although concerned parents need to move beyond this brave face and have strategies in place that can address any underlying issues.
Just as adults, children’s fear of moving to Australia will be that of loneliness, of leaving behind friends & family and fear of the unknown. It’s our job as parents to understand this fear and help counterbalance it with excitement.
Strategies for helping children adjust to a move to Australia
Keep them informed from the start; discuss the move with them in a positive light and gauge their reaction. Try to involve them in the decision making process as much as possible, making sure they all have a forum in which to air their concerns. Once you know what their concerns are you can take time to address them and explain in a fun way what the future holds.
Read as much as you can about Australia making it as visual as possible. Maybe buy a big map for the wall and some tack flags to pin in locations that you all want to visit. Sydney Harbour and Uluru are just two examples.
Some of our clients put together scrapbooks with their children which also become long term mementos as young people turn into adults.
We wouldn’t recommend reaching out to other migrating families at this stage. It’s such an individual process and not everyone makes the final move. When you arrive in Australia you will find one of the strongest expat communities in the World.
We don’t recommend speaking to school until your visas have been granted. Schools have a great habit of embracing change, of tailoring school projects around this new far off land, and of mentioning the move time and again. You will find other parents start to quiz you about the move and unfortunately you may experience a little bit of jealousy from some of them. There is nothing worse than your child’s school building up the move before visas have been issued, for the obvious reasons.
Social media and digital communication has really broken down the barriers of international communication in a big way. Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, Periscope and a raft of other media platforms make for a nice bridge into a teenagers new country whilst not feeling completely isolated from the one left behind. Over time your teenager will adapt to new life, routines and forge new friendships, although whilst going through this transition phase be sure to encourage them to stay in touch.
A note about pets: many children and teenagers love their pets. Many of these four legged family friends will have comforted them through times of sadness and shared times of laughter and happiness. Most pets can be shipped to Australia and it is especially worth it for dogs and cats. Indeed, involving children in the pet relocation project can help give them an increased sense of purpose and responsibility doing the migration process.
Teenagers can be particularly prickly around the thought of a new school so do try and time your move to coincide with an Australian school holiday. Joining a new school on the first day of a new term is never as bad as joining mid-way though.
Competition for good school places in Australia is tough (as it is everywhere) so once you’ve an idea about areas do scope out the best schools and involve your children in the decision making process. Of course sometimes it’s not such a great idea to let them have carte blanche decision making responsibility here!
One of the great things about moving to Australia with children is the instant connections they give you with other families at school and in the neighbourhood.
We always maintain that moving to Australia with children is the best way for the whole family to make good friends, fast!
Many, many expat families and ex clients report amazing things about moving to Australia with children and that initial anxieties were overcome reasonably quickly. Once a child adapts and settles into their new environment parents often feel rewarded, watching them thrive and flourish with opportunities they would simply never have ‘back home’.