Expat Parenting – 6 Tips For Giving Your Kids Structure When Living Abroad
Travel is one of the most beneficial things you can do with your kids. When handled well, the expat life broadens a child’s horizons, making the whole world feel like their community. You can foster a sense of social and environmental responsibility while giving them an unbeatable global education. However, to ensure you pass all these benefits on to your kids, it’s essential to be strategic in how you manage your lives.
From online tutors to rituals and routines, here are six things that will give your expat kids some structure in life.
1. Prioritize their education
Expat kids have a remarkable opportunity to be global citizens, learning from all the people you meet during your travels. It’s essential to take advantage of this but to also give them a structured education to ensure they don’t fall behind on the technical metrics.
You should encourage them to learn languages, play music, and make cultural discoveries while you travel. However, you must also make sure you’re also helping them achieve the grades they need to follow their dreams.
2. Give them stability and structure
Online tutors are about more than just a good education. If you’ll be moving around a lot, this means your kids will have to get used to new friends and new teachers. While the versatility that arises from this can be helpful, kids also benefit from stability and familiar faces. With an online tutor, your children can get to know at least one of their educators, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of a deeper, more stable connection.
Rituals and routines are another great way to offer stability. While you may move regularly, you can keep a bedtime story routine, a breakfast routine, and other regular hobbies and habits. By using essential oils, you can also keep the aromatic environment familiar, imparting a sense of structure even when the environment regularly changes.
3. Give kids a sense of agency
If your kids feel like they have no control in their lives and are instead forced to simply move when you decide to move, this can be disempowering and can cause them emotional distress.
Though you may not be able to give them any say over when and where you move, make sure you give them control over other choices in life. This may be as small as allowing them to choose what you have for dinner, which park you go to on the weekend, or when you take time off work. The key thing is to give children some agency.
4. Do some good together
While it’s essential to do your research and avoid the hazards of voluntourism, there are plenty of legitimate ways to help out when you’re living overseas. Get involved in community projects and help people in the way they wish to be helped.
5. Encourage extracurricular activities
From music to sport and everything in between, the expat life opens up a wealth of opportunities for extracurricular activities. This is another area in which you should give your kids agency. However, it’s worth giving them a gentle push to ensure they take advantage of what’s on offer during your travels.
6. Get involved in cultural activities
Another way to take advantage of the expat lifestyle is to take your children to cultural events. Both you and they will develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the countries you visit. You’ll also open up more scope for getting involved in the community and helping your children make friends.
Follow the tips above, and help your children thrive while living the expat life.