While moving to the U.S. can be an exciting experience for you and your family, it can also become overwhelming. Every person in your household has to adjust, but young children may have more difficulty adjusting than parents recognize.
According to the American Psychological Association, children experience a lot of stress when starting a life away from family and culture.
How can you identify emotional turmoil in kids?
Not all kids react to stress the same way. Your kids may not openly show signs of distress. Instead, they may hide their struggle from their parents. However, nervousness and lack of eye contact with others outside the family could indicate a deeper emotional issue. When children leave their home country, they experience grief over the loss.
How can you help your child?
You want your child to embrace their new life, but you cannot always push too hard. You must accept and recognize their feelings and work to help them adjust. Do not judge them for their feelings. Instead, identify the difficulty and help them remain close to their culture, family and friends back home. The internet allows for more communication even when you live far away. No matter where you move, moving is an experience beyond a kid’s control. You have to let him or her have control over the feelings.
Working with a therapist who understands the unique struggles of children in a new country could help. He or she will know how to find ways for your kid to open up on his or her terms. When you understand the kid’s struggle, you can meet the child’s needs.