Preparing to Move Your Child Overseas (Years 11-14)

Even at this age, you want to make sure you talk to your child before you get on the plane. You can outline all the potential problems that might happen like turbulence, delays, or lost luggage, but you should also go over a general outline of what to expect. This is true even if your child has already flown before. 


If your son or daughter already knows how long the layover is, how quickly you need to get from one terminal to another, or how long the lines might potentially be, they’ll be better prepared to wait through those dull moments. It also will help him or her pick out something to keep them entertained for both lines and the plane. There are plenty of in-flight entertainment services on the plane, but have them bring something like a book or ipod to use while standing and waiting in lines.


Make sure they know that they need to dress comfortably like wearing layers or putting on shoes as well as bringing neck pillows. Also, be sure to let them carry a copy of flight names, destinations and times, addresses, and phone numbers in case of separation or emergencies. Giving them that kind of responsibility might also make them more excited about the upcoming flight and trip. 


When you get on the plane, it also might be worthwhile to make sure that your child sits on a middle or window seat rather than aisle. It will help you keep track of them better, prevent them from leaving their seat while you’re asleep, and keep them out of the way from constant jostling. 


Like mentioned before with helping your child get a comfortable start to the flight, it is important for helping with the transition to their new life by going over in as many details about what they will be experiencing there and how it will be different from their current life. Go over as many details about school, housing, food, and so on. Try and get pictures of their new house and school to help them start forming attachments with their new life. 


If you have concerns that your son or daughter would be especially impacted by the move, consider going an extra step like asking for pictures of new classmates or a letter from a new teacher talking about the life and excitement of living in Korea. Assure them that they can become penpals or have skype calls with their best friends in their home country. Try talking with them about the different travelling adventures you might have planned or new cooking attempts you can do together. Tie it in with their current interests to let them know that they’re gaining something new that doesn’t necessarily mean leaving the important behind. 


This can be the start of puberty for many children so the change in living style can have an especially emotional impact on them. A little patience and understanding can go a long way even as you, a parent, have to deal with your own stress.


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