We all know how stressful relocating within the UK can be, so imagine what it can be like if you’re emigrating to Spain with your children! Especially now that the UK is an independent nation since the beginning of 2021.
The decision to move home doesn’t just impact us as grown-ups. It affects our kids in much the same way too. Choosing to move means that we’re responsible for a huge change in our children’s lives. Moving home is a decision that shakes up their very world.
But before you get stressed about taking your children to another country, stop! As an expat myself, I fully understand what it’s like moving to Spain with your children. We did it, albeit many years ago – and it was extremely easy. If you’re ready to go now, let us quote you for a stress-free move
Emigrating is full of changes that don’t encounter whilst moving about the UK. However, the adjustments you do go through are neither big, bad, or scary. This is especially true if you’ve planned your move properly. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that your family’s move to another country isn’t going to be the nightmare that you think.
Natalie Goldberg, a renowned American author once said that
“Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency”
which is very true. The things we sometimes find ourselves tearing our hair out for, just aren’t worth all the significance or urgency we put on them.
So to help you have a harmonious move to Spain with your children in 2021, here’s my list of the 7 most essential tips.
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Essential tips for moving to Spain with your children in 2021 – before the move
Tip #1 – Talk to your kids and involve them in the moving process
Change can be pretty scary for anyone. If your child says that they’re excited about moving house, there’s no doubt that they’re still going to feel confused. They may well be sad and frustrated too.
They’ll worry about leaving everything they know behind. Like their school, best friends, comforts of home and daily routines. Moving home can sometimes be exasperating. It’s no surprise that stress can rear its ugly head in many ways. Children, and adults alike, can throw tantrums, get despondent, or become incredibly anxious.
So it’s best to talk to your children and keep them in the loop at all times. These conversations don’t have to be difficult. Just focus on all the new, exciting things which lie ahead. Don’t mention the things which they might miss out on, or have to leave behind.
Continuity is very important, so explain that there are some things which aren’t ever going to change. Even though you’re moving to a new country which has a different language and different cultures. Reassure them that there’ll be lots of things that you’ll still do together as a family. Things like having breakfast together every day, or playing football after school.
Another important thing to do is to always comfort your children. “I’m always here for you, and you’re not alone” is is a good thing to say to them. Actually, it’s kind to say it to your partner too, if they’re feeling stressed as well.
Tip #2 – Learn about Spain, together
Learning about your new home with your children is a fantastic way to get them excited about the move. It might even get you feeling more relaxed about the whole process!
A wonderful way of getting your children involved with the move is to create a scrapbook with them. This could document everything about your family adventure of moving to Spain. Help your kids make the scrapbook by visiting your local library on a research expedition. Search the aisles for interesting books about Spain and read through them together.
Browse the internet with them and show them amazing photographs of their new town or city. You could even contact the local tourist board of where you’re moving to, with a list of all your children’s questions.
It is also a good idea to involve your children in the search for your new home. Looking at properties online with them will get them used to new styles of architecture.
You can also ask them what they think is important to have in their new house. Then try to find somewhere to match. Although it may be hard to find an apartment which has a swimming pool, a games room and a garden big enough for a pony to fit in!
Another great way of getting your children excited about moving is to help them start to learn Spanish. There are a lot of bright, colourful apps designed with children in mind. This will make learning a new language exciting and interesting.
Tip #3 – Let your children pack their own things
Get your children involved in packing their bedroom. This is a good chance to have them de-clutter too.
Your children will value being able to pack their own suitcases and put their own things away in their own boxes. It’s a great opportunity to talk them into parting with a few things. Rather than being told what they need to get rid of, they’ll appreciate being able to choose what to leave behind.
Tip #4 – Throw your children a “see you again soon!” party
It’s very important for your children to have a positive experience about leaving, as well as seeking closure about going. After all, your move abroad is a permanent one, and you will only come back for short visits in the future. Hosting a party, with all the family and their friends around is aa great idea. It will provide them with a lasting, happy memory of the UK.
This will put them in a positive frame of mind for their relocation to Spain. Remember though, don’t call it a goodbye party, because goodbyes are always sad. It’s a “see you again soon” party, because you’ll no doubt pop back to the UK for a visit to see nan and granddad!
Essential tips for moving to Spain with your children in 2021 – during the move
Tip #5 – Make sure they have enough to keep them entertained
Road trips, even in the UK, can be quite tiresome events, as your kids get bored. So whether you’re flying or driving to Spain, make sure your children have plenty on hand to keep them
entertained. Let your children choose the things they want to keep with them.
Another good way to make sure your children won’t get bored is to make up some art packs for them. You can find crayons, markers, paper, craft materials and coloring books from places like Wilkos or the Pound Shop. These packs will give your children something to do when the journey starts to drag a bit.
You may even be able to find podcasts about the place you’re moving to. This should hopefully get the children interested in spending some time being quiet and listening to people talk about Spain.
If your kids are starting to get restless or are complaining about being bored, start a sing-a-long, or play family games like eye spy or 20 questions.
The most important thing however, is to make sure that your children’s tablets, phones or games consoles are fully charged, as these are always a sure fire way of keeping the kids quiet!
Tip #6 – Make sure there are snacks aplenty
If you’re driving to Spain, having treats, or even a full blown picnic ready to hand in the car is very important. Even adults get a bit ratty when they’re hungry! Well-timed snack breaks can break up your journey – they’ll give everyone the energy they need to keep calm and carry on.
Tip #7 – Take breaks as often as you can
Try to stop off at some tourist attractions or landmarks for your children to enjoy and to take pictures of. No-one likes being cooped up in a car for hours on end. Just stopping at a motorway garage for petrol and a toilet break can be quite gloomy.
If you do need a toilet break, you might as well do it somewhere memorable and fun.
So there you have it, my essential tips for moving to Spain with your Children in 2021. We hope it helps make the move run as smoothly as possible for you and the kids.
Remember, embarking on a new life in a different country is a major step for anyone. Make sure that you plan ahead so that your kids feel genuinely reassured, comforted, excited, entertained and most of all, happy that they’re going to be moving somewhere new.
If you’re thinking of moving to Spain, let Indalo Transport help. More info here
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