Tips for Making Your Kids into Nomads
The following is a guest post written by Izzy Woods
Tips for Making Your Kids into Nomads
Are you planning to take your kids on the road? Congratulations, because it’s one of the best moves you can make. But like every parent, we worry about how our kids will adjust to this new lifestyle. The truth is, that it’s all in the way we approach it. Kids move abroad all the time, especially if their parents are diplomats or in international business and those parents give lots of advice on getting their kids ready for the next move.
Getting Your Kids Ready
If you’re packing up your whole household, one of the first things you can do is let your kid choose a few treasured possessions that will travel with you rather than being shipped. Get out a small suitcase for each child and let the child fill it with the things they feel they can’t live without, like a sleep toy or a favorite book. Having these familiar items when you arrive at your destination will help them to settle in more quickly on arrival.
Some Projects for Nomads
Kids always have lots of questions, so encourage their natural curiosity and help them to research the new destination online. If you already know exactly where you are going to live then you can check it out on Google Earth. There’s nothing to get your kids excited about the move like spotting play centers and other child-friendly facilities in their new location. If your kids are project oriented, there are two great projects they can do: a scrapbook to show their old friends where they are going, and another to show their new friends where they have been.
Sell the Benefits
Accentuate the positive when you talk about your new home. Children love the thought of being adventurers and explorers, so let them know that you will all be on a great adventure and exploring the new location together. When you arrive, encourage them to collect items that symbolize their new home and to talk about it. In fact, if your kids are ready, why not let them contribute their perspective to a family travel blog?
What About Friends?
One of the big worries for kids who move, whether it’s across town or half way round the world, is losing touch with their friends. This doesn’t have to happen with the technology that’s available now. In fact, it’s easier than ever to stay in contact with a combination of tablets and laptops, Skype and webcams. Schedule regular time for each child to talk with friends and relatives so they can share what’s happening in their lives just as they did when they lived round the corner. (This will make it easier for the relatives too). An internet connection is a lifeline and you will probably need it as much as your kids will. And don’t forget that they are also building up great skills that they will be able to use as adults.
Homeschooling – Yes or No?
Some nomadic parents choose to home school. This has some advantages because it makes the family unit more mobile and keeps it together. On the other hand, everyone needs some breathing space sometimes, so perhaps a good option is to mix homeschooling with occasional stints in the local educational system, as Soultravelers3 do. This gives the best of both worlds and makes it even easier for your kids to make new friends.
Why This is a Great Lifestyle
One of the great things about living a nomadic life with your kids is the creation of global citizens who are well rounded and adaptable. This lifestyle addresses many of the issues that some find with stricter educational systems, which are too rigid to allow for unusual experiences that deviate from the curriculum. A nomadic lifestyle is infinitely adaptable and many kids benefit hugely from this approach. In addition, traveling around the world builds an appreciation of different cultural and social norms and helps your child fit in anywhere. These are skills which will be in demand as your children become adults.
As you can see, there are huge benefits to taking your kids on the road (or on a boat if you check out cruise deals 2013) and if done right it doesn’t have to be traumatic for them. Instead it can be a life-enriching experience for all of you!