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In my world, culture shock is a dirty word that you should never speak of, sounds weird, but when you move a lot, you tend to dismiss culture shock and therefore dismiss your child’s in the process. Travelling and moving are very different animals, don’t ever think they are the same, and never think that your child is that portable, in that regard I mean, don’t think that they won’t have feelings or reactions to new surroundings. Even babies need an adjustment period.
I am a very positive person and think that you can do pretty much anything with your child. But, I stress the but. I have read a lot of posts defining children as resilient and strong. They are, but sometimes, as adults, we can be shites.
Yesterday I wrote a more light-hearted story (here) about Culture Shock. But today, I wanted to give you an overview of culture shock and your kids. Culture Shock can be debilitating and can come on suddenly, change your childs mood and behaviour. Moving around as an adult is hard, new job, new home, new community, new friends etc.
Think about what it feels like for a kid, no seriously, take a moment. If you have moved as a child, do you remember anything about it? I moved around so much, that culture shock was a normal process, new friends, new classes, new teachers, new food, new culture – newness never seemed to end. Some of it was exciting, but some of it was really difficult, People in my world don’t ever talk about it.
5 Strategies to help your kids adjust (yes, there are more and I will be writing about them):
1. Make sure your child knows where you are moving, show them on a map. look at pictures, books, let them look up the city or country on the internet. Let them be part of the process.
2. Listen to them, kids are not that resilient, I really hate it when parents say this about kids when it comes to moving. They are only as resilient as you let them be vulnerable at home. If you choose to bury your head in the sand over your child’s feelings and their new surroundings, they will start burying their feelings, and will harbour resentment.
3. Make sure your child has had a tour of the new school before school begins. Make them familiar with it. No matter how many first days of school you have, it never gets any easier.
4. Try to book them into a sport they love right away. By getting them involved in something they love and are good at, will boost their confidence and allow them to meet new people.
5. Let your child decorate their new room, make them feel that the newness can be fun. Let them express themselves.
Do you have any questions or concerns? Leave a comment, or you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a good day,