Is your family leaving Hong-Kong? How are you feeling about this decision? And what about your kids? Saying goodbye isn't easy for most people, and for children, these goodbyes can be even more unsettling, because it can mean saying goodbye to the only home they have known, or the only one they remember.
Here are a few points to keep in mind to help your children to say “good bye” to the place they are used to calling home:
➡️Tell them stories about the place you are moving to. About exciting new things that they will see and do there. Building excitement about the new home can help them look forward instead of backward.
➡️ Keep them informed on some difficulties that they might be facing too, such as leaving old friends, changing their comfortable routines and adjusting to new style of life. It's important to validate these difficulties and concerns so that your children know their emotions are totally normal and valid.
➡️ Share your own feelings and the way you will be missing your friends and familiar places (just don’t use your kids as agony aunt, overwhelming them with emotions). It can be helpful for them to know this is not easy for you either - everyone in the family is going through similar emotions.
➡️ Speak positively about Hong Kong, no matter what the reasons are for your family to leave, let kids keep good memories of this part of their life.
➡️ Involve kids in the moving process. Let them sort and pack their own toys and some clothes, go over their favourite keepsakes and treasures and take the most valuable ones. This way there will be no surprises when you unpack the boxes in your new home.
➡️ Have a few “anchors” for new place. Some objects that will make new house or apartment feel like home straight away: your framed family photo, cookies jar, old tea mugs. Pack them in hand luggage to take out in the new place as soon as you get there.
➡️ Encourage kids to share their worries about the future: accept and validate their feelings rather than dismiss or deny them. Don’t try to bribe and manipulate them into seeing the material reward in the move.
➡️ Help them stay in touch with their Hong Kong friends for as long as it naturally works. In today's modern world, this is easier than ever before.
➡️ Look for all the opportunities that the relocation presents and discuss them often to keep your family positively charged.
➡️ And yes, remember about self-care. You need a lot of resources to go through this big life-changing transition. Practice some “me-time” and be kind to yourself and your family.
🤞 Good luck, 🇭🇰 will miss you