SIS News Archive

Transition Strategies for Leaving Families
Posted 05/28/2014 09:54AM

As our school year comes to a close, I’d first like to wish our incredible students, families, and staff a wonderful summer.


As our population, like the international community as a whole, changes through the summer and into next year, I’d like to offer some ideas for those families who are moving back to their home country or to another living experience. While it may seem confusing, scary, and exciting at the same time, I hope these strategies might lend some help to our transitioning students and community.


Strategies:
*Set aside special times for family and sustain family traditions, or traditions that have become important during your travels


*Continue to travel and experience novel things, even within your “home” country; this will help children to continue to stimulate their minds and help them to not feel stagnant or unchallenged.


*Display “sacred” objects/souvenirs in your home from each country you’ve experienced. Do not discount experiences your child or children have had abroad!


*Maintain affection between parents as much as possible when children are around (Additionally, attempt to be a parental “united front” when it comes to decisions.)

*Show commitment to each other as parents (including viewpoints) to reassure children of decision. In the midst of uncertain feelings, stability within the parental relationship, including respect and support, send “safety” and comfort messages to unsure children.


*Continue relationships with previous family, friends, and community members and return “home” periodically (If you’re moving “home,” allow children to continue relationships with those they met abroad.)


*Do not compare children in a family to each other (Do not minimize or exaggerate a child’s feelings toward a transition. Not all children react the same way to moves, and allowing them to have their own process helps them to feel supported.


*DON’T pressure a child to “adjust” faster than they feel comfortable.


*Take personal, social time with each child alone.      

     
Rachael Knudsen, ES Counselor

#shekouart

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Shekou International School

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