Taking the children
Emigrating as a single person or as a couple is very different from emigrating with the entire family.
When preparing to move to Canada, you want to be sure your children understand what is going on. Knowing what to expect will limit your children’s stress, so be sure to prepare ahead of time to meet their needs.
Plan your move
Take the time to plan your move carefully with your children. Involving them in the process will help them to be excited, instead of dreading the move. As soon as you know that you’re moving, begin to involve your children in the discussions and decision-making where appropriate.
Talk through your concerns
Children will most likely feel sadness and stress when faced with moving, as it is a major change. Try to remember that their feelings are as strong as an adult’s, if not stronger. Allow them to talk through their fears, anxiety and concerns with you, and provide as much comfort as possible. Be sure that they understand that it is safe to talk with you about their concerns.
Use the web
Give them an opportunity to explore their new home with you. Look at websites with them to show them where in Canada you’ll be living. Research the languages of the area you’ll be living in, and show them pictures from real estate sites of the type of house you’ll be moving to.
If their new school has a website, be sure to show them where they’ll be attending school, as well. Providing as much advance knowledge as possible will help them to feel more secure about the changes that are happening.
Plan your goodbyes
If your child will be having an upcoming birthday or holiday in Canada that they had previously planned to have at home, allow them to have an early celebration with their friends before leaving, if possible. Remind them to collect email and snail mail addresses, so that they can keep in touch after the move. Planning a goodbye sleepover with several close friends may provide you with some much-needed time to pack, so consider this as an option as well.
Time it right
If possible, relocate to Canada the beginning of a new school term. This allows your child to start the new school year fresh, instead of having to endure being ‘the new kid’ in the middle of a term. Once you’re settled in, consider hosting a welcoming celebration for your child’s new friends, to help him or her feel more at home.
Relocating to Canada with children doesn’t have to be difficult. By planning well in advance and keeping your lines of communication open, you can make the transition easier for everyone involved – especially your children.