How to Help Your Child Cope with Migration

Friday, June 14, 2019
How to Help Your Child Cope with Migration

Moving away to live in a different country is one of the biggest challenges any family can experience. The adjustments that one family must make can be grueling at first. From understanding different cultural norms to learning a new language, these changes are not only impactful for the parents but even more so for children.

Migration can impact children the most, as they not only leave their home but also their friends, family, and the way of life that they have grown accustomed to. Whether your child will study at an international school in the Philippines or elsewhere, moving away can negatively impact his morale and confidence due to the initial feelings of homesickness and alienation. This is why helping him adjust to his new surroundings is truly essential.


Introduce your child to the new culture

In most cases, migrating means having to get used to different cultural norms. It can be very overwhelming for your child to take in and accept this at first. This is why it may be best to slowly immerse your child to the new culture step by step.

You can start by learning important customs and greetings, trying out new cuisines, and getting a taste of the local art and music. This process allows your child to understand and appreciate his new surroundings without having to experience the culture shock that many migrants experience.


Have a keepsake that reminds you of home

While it is important to immerse oneself to a new culture, it is equally important to remember where you came from. This can be in the form of a keepsake. It can be any item that serves as a reminder of the meaningful experiences in your previous home. Looking back and reminiscing on old memories can reinforce an optimistic outlook, while also helping him realize that he can make new memories in your new home.


Connect with old friends and family every now and then

Some children perceive moving away as permanently not being able to see their friends and family. This can really impact their morale and outlook upon migrating. Part of the coping process is reminding your child that although he is away from his friends and family, he still has a way of getting in touch with them on a regular basis.

Thanks to social media and the internet, your child would still be able to contact friends and family back at your previous home. This connection helps in the adjustment period, allowing your child to slowly remove the negative and sad feelings that come with moving to a new place.


Encourage your child to make friends and try new activities

A great way to help your child adjust to his new home is by helping him interact with the community around him. This allows him to meet new friends, as well as find new hobbies and activities to participate in.

One of the challenges of migrating is finding a sense of belonging and overcoming feelings of isolation. Encouraging your child to engage with the community can make him feel connected to his environment and replace feelings of loneliness with positivity along the way.


Key Takeaway

Whether your child is set to study in an international school in the Philippines or elsewhere, moving to a new place is not easy. By guiding him throughout the coping process, you would be able to help him find a sense of belonging to the community and adjust to his surroundings much easier.


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