It can be difficult to move overseas for work, especially if you have a child that will go with you. You will be uprooting yourselves to live in an unknown land, so it can be tricky to know if they will be able to adjust. This fear is natural because you never know what to expect until you get to the country in question.

Some of you may know that we are contemplating to relocate again. Likely it is to move back home to Singapore because of various personal reasons like spending more time with our families and allowing our daughter (she’s three!) to spend more time with her grandparents.

Nothing is on the paper yet and we are open to other opportunities to move to other countries. We love exploring epic adventures! It makes sense for me to research on how to tell my young one we are moving.

However, kids can surprise you on how well they get along in a new land. The younger they are, the faster it is for them to pick up new things. They are also more open-minded with the things around them and they are ready to take on what’s before them.

If you haven’t told your child that you are moving overseas, here’s how you can tell your child:

Preparing them early

The first thing you have to do when it comes to telling your child that you are moving to a new country is by preparing them early. Let them know updates about your move help them prepare through role-playing and immersing them to the culture you will be moving to.

Luckily for us, Singapore is just next door to Malaysia (about 5 hours drive or 45 mins flight) so we have been going back and fro every chance we get.

Communication (be honest)

When you tell your child that you will be moving, always be honest about explaining why you are moving. Let them know that you are ready to answer any questions they may have and listen to their thoughts about the move.

If you don’t know how to answer one question, let them know you will get back to them as you try to find out how to answer their inquiry.

Research thoroughly

If you don’t know how to answer your child’s questions or you want to be able to explain everything, do your research about the country you are moving to. You can also get your child to help you with your research and let them see where they will stay.

You can use Google to give them an idea about where they will study, where they can go have fun and everything else they may need. Aside from Google, you can use social media groups and forums to find more information about what you can do together in your new home.

Involve them

As you research and prepare for your move, let your children to join you in every step of the way. From packing the stuff they need, researching the places they can check out to listing out what you need to do and try out.

This will get them excited about what they can do in your new home. You can also get them to practice with Facetime so they won’t feel homesick for your loved ones that you will leave behind when you move.

Don’t Dismiss Their Cries

When moving to a new country, you shouldn’t disregard what your children will need and think about the move.

Adapting to change is hard and your child may not understand the rational behind the move and may act out. Remember, you need to remind yourself every now and then that your kids will also be adapting to the new country you are in and share the concerns you have.

Don’t dismiss whatever concerns or issues they may have. Talk to them as much as you can and reassure them that we will be ok.


A new job, a new school and a new home will always seem scary to a lot of adults, let alone young children who need security and consistency to feel safe in their surroundings. There are many things we can do to prep our kids for the big move but the most importantly, we need to be there for them.

To hear stories on my relocation to Shanghai, here they are:
I am Chinese but I am not from China
People’s Republic of China here I come 
China is a Beautiful Country except..

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39 replies on “How To Tell Your Child You Are Moving Overseas

  1. I think if you relocate when the children are small, they’ll cope much better. As they get older, they’ve got their friends, school, hobbies and have built relationships with their families close by and they just won’t want to leave. You made some great points and particularly about getting them involved in the process.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. ♡ How Funny; it’s the ‘Grown Ups’ that struggle to adapt to different environs everyone…the kids don’t really care; they are anxious ‘cos their parents are anxious


    Liked by 2 people

  3. Another great one Kally.

    We relocated often when I was working, but never overseas; all though I was offered the opportunity to manage a couple of smaller factories in Hong Cong ; but declined the offer.

    he points you make though are terrific even for a relocation out of the area your living in.

    Thanks for the helpful tips. And good luck with the move if you take the promotion.

    God Bless,

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Fabulous post. I was devastated by a move as a child… I had had no communication, no preparation, and most certainly no involvement in the process… I would not… could not wish this experience on any child.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. Great that your son is tall. He’ll be reaching for those plates and cans on top of the kitchen shelves for you. My daughter is also tall for her age. I’m beginning to think she’ll one day be with a guy shorter than she is. Haha!

          Liked by 2 people

  5. Children are very adaptable and they will still be with their family. We all went from England to Australia when I was eleven and got on fine. The only age I think is a problem – teenagers! Interrupting important exam years and taking them away from their friends can cause big upsets.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. My family moved from Japan to the US when I was five. It helped that I could already understand much English. But to this day, I remember doing things wrong at school because I didn’t entirely get the instructions. Over time, making some new childhood friends helped a great deal.

    “When I was a kid, my parents moved a lot. But I always found them.” –Rodney Dangerfield

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Best of luck with your relocation … it is never easy but I wonder if the hard part doesn’t fall on the adults. I came to the UK from Sweden when I was six years old and it was a huge adventure! I was so excited and as you advise, my mother had talked to me a lot about it, I felt ready and keen to go. Once here I loved making new friends, teaching them some Swedish and thanks to TV and my school friends quickly learnt English! Matters were much tougher for my brother who was six years older. There was at the time zero support from school and he was thrown into the deep end with studies. All turned out well and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That is great news Peng Yu. I do hope you can pull it through. Singapore is not just your home, it is a fantastic place.
    Now how to tell the little princess. Easy. Just tell her, ad she will adapt. (I lived in 9 countries before I was 18…)
    Happy New Year. (How do you say that in Hokkien? I forgot)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great advice. As a Navy brat, we moved several times in my childhood, but never overseas. At 3, the family is pretty much the child’s world–she may have stronger opinions after she starts school and develops close friendships. Being able to skype or facetime are luxuries we did not have decades ago. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Many of these tips would be good to consider even when relocating within the same country too! All children respond differently to change. I know I didn’t respond well to moving as a child, but others are excited to see new places. I hope that if you end up returning to Singapore, your little one is happy and engaged with the change. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really depends on how young are the kids and how far is the move. My child is 3 years old and she can tell the difference between Malaysia and Singapore even though the countries are just next to each other. It’s more of an environment differences. So if you move domestically, maybe the differences is not as huge as in if you lived in the States and you relocate to Asia.


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