Kids Having Trouble Adjusting To The Culture Shock? 5 Things You Can Do To Help

Posted by on Jan 25 | 2017

Culture shock is a natural reaction that both children and adults can experience when they are relocated to an unfamiliar place with a culture that is unlike their own. Culture shock can affect children in different ways and you may not even attribute their change in behaviour to culture shock at first.

Helping Children Cope With Culture Shock

Culture shock can result in a sense of frustration, mood swings (children may be more irritable than normal) or temper tantrums. They may also be appear more clingy than normal. While culture shock is only temporary, it is important to be able to address these feelings if you recognize that your children may be experiencing experiencing culture shock. Keep in mind that it can be more difficult to help toddlers navigate this process as they may not yet have the communication skills. With that in mind, here are some tips to help mitigate the effects of being in a new environment.

  1. Discuss your children’s feelings

    Spend some time simply talking to your child. Gently steer the conversation in the direction of living in a new place. Although they may be resistant at first, they will more than likely mention their concerns in an organic way. You may have to read between the lines, but eventually you may be able to figure out what it is that is specifically bothering them. Do they miss some things from home? Of course. It is important to do this in a way that also gives children enough space and time to process everything on their own terms.

  2. Provide children with a familiar bubble

    While the outside world may seem like strange territory to children, it can help to provide your children with a safe bubble inside your home – a space for them to retreat to. This means making your home, and their bedroom, for example, as familiar as possible. If your children were enrolled in particular classes in their home country, it can help to enroll them in similar classes. It could also help to keep their favourite snacks stocked up. On the whole, keep their daily routine the same as much as possible. Keep their wake up and bedtimes as close to normal as possible, too.

  3. Allow them to bring familiar toys with them

    Sometimes, your child may feel more comfortable bringing familiar toys with them as they embark to a new place.

  4. Take a step back

    It can be tempting to take advantage of your new home by seeing everything at once. However, children need time to process new sights, sounds and smells. If you notice that your child is experiencing signs of culture shock, take a step back. Spend a day at home or take them out for shorter periods of time instead.

  5. Start new rituals

    Visit the same park every day or say hi to the same crossing guard every day. This can help to create a sense of routine and help to mitigate the effects of culture shock.

Moving to another country can take a toll on a family unit, especially children. If you are moving internationally, Armstrong Moving is a professional moving company that will take care of everything you need to move so that you can focus on what matters most. Contact us today for more.

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