Moving to the States can get really overwhelming, especially if you don’t relate to how your children feel about this absolutely new chapter of their lives. For instance, the transition might be tough for you if English is not your native language, but with time you’ll definitely overcome the semantic challenge without having a change of heart about the country. With kids, however, running into a completely new language that is often used for communication around them, especially in a new school, can be a very lonely affair. The child might even end up developing low self-confidence. It’s always more difficult to relocate to a new country with children. But, with a bit of preparation, you can surely make the change worthwhile and a thrilling experience for your kids. Here are six tips to help immigrant parents raise their kids in the USA.
Keep in touch with family and friends back home
To make the change to life in the US easy, help your child stay connected with friends and family back home. Let them talk to their friends, cousins or grandparents using Skype and other social media apps. Ask them to send money to their loved ones on birthdays or any special occasion so that the people back home can buy gifts and the bond becomes even stronger. Utilize the services of a money transfer operator like Ria Money Transfer and send money online across 149 countries without any hassle. This is certainly the best way to help your child adjust in the new environment while maintaining healthy relationships back home.
Give extra attention to your child
Letting children explore the new environment on their own is crucial, but so is giving them extra attention. Be present on the first day of their new school, and talk through their day to day activities. If English is a new language for your child, help them with extra tutoring. Try to attend school meetings and other important events, especially during the initial post-move period, so that the child sees a known face in the crowd. Make sure you organize outdoor activities on weekends where the entire family get out and experience the new surroundings.
Start a routine
Kids get easily used to their living place, routine and the things they see on a daily basis. This is why start a routine of some sort as soon as you arrive in the States. Even if it’s just sitting together for dinner, and going for a morning walk. Remember children learn from parents; the more you feel settled, the more possibly your children will too.
Celebrate the home country’s traditions
While it’s important to help your child mingle with the new culture, there’s no reason not to celebrate the events that used to take place in the home country. At the same time, make them familiar with the traditions of the new place as well. This will help them feel more positive about the move, and they’ll better integrate into the States’ culture and traditions.
Help your children make new friends
Your child might end up developing the new kid syndrome when he is not able to socialize with the kids of the same age group. It’s important for children to make new friends. As a parent, create opportunities for your child to meet and make local friends. Invite the neighborhood kids for a small party, host activities in the nearby park, and stay in touch with other parents at school, as well as other immigrants in your area. Based on your child’ interest, getting them into clubs and other activities is also a great idea to help your little one build up a friends circle.
Allow them to express their frustration
No matter how much you try to help your kid cope with the change, they are bound to face occasional emotional breakdowns. They might frequently get sad, frustrated, anxious, bored, confused or stressed, and as parents, you need to get close to your child so that they can openly share their feelings with you. Parents too go through their own struggles, but it’s important to keep an optimistic outlook that the child can model.
And on those days when you feel like giving up and returning home, remember there is light at the end on the tunnel provided you give yourself and your children some time. Children who grow up in the USA are the most rounded individuals as the country offers incredible opportunities in terms of education, transport, and prepares you to handle difficult life situations without losing your calm. So just try to follow these six tips and things will eventually fall into place!
About the Author
Sharon Kalipai is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency in Denver, CO. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, dance and read books.