5 Ways to Help Your Child Manage Transitions
Last summer, HSBC’s Expat 2019 Global Report named Vietnam as one of the top 10 destinations for expatriate workers. It’s not surprising therefore to see an uptick in the number of foreigners residing in the country, many of whom are bringing along their children, ranging from tots to teens.
“Raising children in a country different from that of their birth nation has multiple benefits” assures T.K. Ostrom, Director of Enrolment Management and Marketing at UNIS Hanoi. She has helped countless families across the globe resettle and depart and says there are practical steps parents can take to ensure a successful transition for their child, whatever their age.
Here T.K shares what these are:
1. Start a meaningful conversation with your child about the upcoming move. Children have feelings and views too and we must respect them and give them a chance to voice them. This also gives you as a parent, the opportunity to address any worries they may have and give them assurances. But be careful not to promise what you can’t deliver! Children are smart and they will hold you to everything you say.
2. Choose a school that’s right for your child’s needs, personality, academic ability and interests. Children do well in a school where they are comfortable and can flourish as an individual. We like to invite parents and their child/ren to our campus so they can get a sense of who we are as a community. We also encourage families to learn about the IB programme we offer and what it’s designed to offer a child now and in the long term. We’re committed to the whole child at UNIS Hanoi and many of our families choose us because they are too.
3. Check if your child’s new school has teachers that are experienced with helping children transition. Not every school knows how to ensure a child settles well into a school or a new country. Thankfully, at UNIS Hanoi, we do! Not only will your child be supported by their teachers, but also by our expert counsellors.
4. If your child is moving from one school to another, even in Hanoi, help your child prepare for the transition. Allow them to spend bonus time with their friends and encourage them to find ways they can keep in touch with people that matter to them. Depending on the age of the child, this could be through online channels such as Whatsapp, Instagram or Snapchat. If you have the means, you could commit to an annual get together during the summer or winter break. This will help your child feel a lesser sense of loss.
5. If you know you’re leaving Hanoi, tell your child in a timely manner. Psychologist and transitions expert, Dr Douglas Ota equates the emotional and physical toll of transitioning with grief. How departures are managed, he says, is important to the long term health of your child.
Enrolment into UNIS Hanoi for the Academic Year 2020/21 is now open. Applications are accepted via our website.
About UNIS Hanoi
UNIS Hanoi is the first international school established in Vietnam, is one of only two United Nations Schools in the world, and the original IB World School in Asia. We are a not-for-profit school, which means our tuition fees are invested in providing the highest quality education and learning environment for all our students. To learn more, please visit our website: www.unishanoi.org