The decision to move overseas is a big step, and the start of a great adventure. It will bring you closer as a family as you bond over the excitement of this shared experience. Your children will become world citizens because they can call more than one country home.
The opportunity to live in a new country fosters your children’s street smarts as they explore their adopted hometown and master the local transit system. Culture shock is a legitimate issue: you and your children can expect to feel a bit confused and disoriented as you adjust to this different lifestyle. It will encourage your children to come up with creative solutions to these feelings, perhaps through artwork or online forums.
After you’ve unpacked all of the moving boxes that were, perhaps, relocated with the help of an international moving company, it’s time to settle in. Your children will be confronted with a diversity of cultures, no matter if they’re enjoying local foods at the cafe or sitting in class. This exposure is critical. As a “third culture kid,” they know that no one background is superior to another. Instead, they have the patience and interest to seek out other viewpoints. Your children will make friends from all over the world. Sustaining those cultural connections prompts respect for a wide variety of traditions and heritages. They can defy the urge towards stereotyping because they know the truth from firsthand experience.
Away from the comforts of home, your children will learn to embrace the unfamiliar. They will start to reconsider their own background and see what they can learn from the people around them. They’ll have both passive and active exposure to local news. This prompts your children to ask more questions so they can understand the context of their new environment.
You and your partner made the final decision to move, but it’s up to your children to take ownership of the experience. One important aspect of life overseas is language learning. Your children can see it as a new, exciting challenge to overcome. They can test their skills with immersion and use that to establish their own identity within your new home country.
Although living abroad means confronting many different viewpoints, it also creates a stronger sense of self. You’ve set an excellent example for your children by setting out for the (relative) unknown. It inspires them to think for themselves, too.