Australia and Singapore are both modern cities with rich cultures. However, there are also many differences, such as their climate and cultural sensitivities. Therefore, migration can be an exciting process that promises new experiences and fresh beginnings.
However, it may also be confusing, challenging, and scary for children who are in their formative years. Uprooting your children from the familiar routines they have established in Singapore may cause them to feel distressed and anxious as they dread migrating.
Teenagers may be especially averse to moving. As they navigate the awkward transition between childhood and maturing as an adult, moving may be an added unwelcome challenge.
So, here are some common problems children face when moving to Australia from Singapore and some ways you can help ease their transition.
1. Relieve anxiety by maintaining familiar routines
To your child, moving may equate to leaving their old lives behind. Starting afresh in a completely new environment is fear-inducing as your child is exposed to many unknown possibilities. In such a situation, it is natural to feel overwhelmed and helpless.
In such a foreign environment, your child may need some familiar routines to counteract these feelings of fear and displacement. As it is hard to control daily life beyond the home, your child can find comfort in regulating the environmental factors within their control.
Family time is one way you can comfort your children. If your family constantly has meals together at regulated, scheduled times, you can continue this practice. You can also let your child play a bigger role in organising these family dinners, be it in cooking a dish or simply cleaning up after. If your child is alone overseas, you can continue to schedule a time to have a meal together over a video call, or even watch a TV programme or film every now and then.
Your child may also have hobbies that they used to pursue back home. So, you can try to encourage them to make these hobbies a part of their new life in Australia. These hobbies can help your child relax and find comfort in familiar activities they enjoy as they adjust to their new environment.
In Australia, malls are accessible, and it is easy to shop for supplies they may need to work on their craft projects. If they enjoy reading, they can explore the vicinity to find a library or bookstore. Australia is also spacious and home to many natural wonders and rich scenery, so if your child is into photography or outdoor sports, they can definitely find an appropriate spot to practise their hobbies.
2. Strengthen support networks by maintaining pre-existing relationships
Your child may fear losing contact with their friends and loved ones as they immigrate to Australia from Singapore. Without physical interaction and common activities, it is easy to lose touch with even the closest friends.
However, technology has made it easier than ever to stay connected. Tidbits and funny incidents about one’s simplest day to day activities can be shared in photographs and short videos with a quick text message. It is easy to delve into the details instead of glossing over the day briefly. This way, your child and their friends can share their lived experiences together.
There are also activities your child can do with their friends despite the distance. Streaming sites online and plenty of apps offer a multitude of ways to binge-watch movies together. Your child can also immerse themselves in video games with their friends. Sometimes, a heart-to-heart over a video call will even suffice.
Everyone has to put effort into maintaining relationships. If your family has moved to Australia together, make it a priority to spend more time together. You can explore the new city or neighbourhood with your child, or just hang out together at home. With the support of family, your child will feel less anxious.
They will realise that their lives haven’t changed as much as they thought; their family dynamics are still the same under a different roof!
3. Help your child fit in by encouraging them to take the first step.
Your child may be worried about finding friends and forming strong platonic relationships. After all, friends are important as your child begins to seek support networks beyond their home. In a new environment when local children may already have existing social circles, your child may find it hard to settle in.
Not to mention, after moving to Australia from Singapore, your child may notice there are many differences between them and the local children. There may be slang they do not understand or interests they do not share with the locals.
Still, all hope is not lost – you just have to start from somewhere! So, to start off, you can slowly ease them into this new environment by introducing them to fellow Singaporean students who may share more commonalities.
If your child is shy and finds it difficult to initiate conversation, slowly encourage them to take the first step. There are many interest groups they can join to meet new people in the community, and these groups also provide a common topic for your child to use as a conversation starter. They can begin to gradually build their confidence through these networks before moving into a school setting.
Sometimes, your child may be struggling to cope with the new curriculum while making new friends. Encourage them to reach out to new friends who can help them meet mutual schoolmates. They can also start with open-ended questions to sustain the conversation. Prioritise frequent check-ins with your child; you can ask them how you can support them while giving them the privacy and space they need.
Migration can be scary and intimidating, but with the right support and encouragement, your child will find it easier to settle down. You can help them build their courage and confidence by strengthening your relationship with them as a parental figure.
Supporting your child may be emotionally draining. While figuring out how to move to Australia from Singapore, you may encounter other logistical and administrative problems. Reduce your stress by engaging NTRUST as we aid you in the moving process – be it in regards to consultation, documentation, or legal matters. All you have to do is call us at +65 6299 0245 or get an appointment date ready with us.