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Expat Spain: Things to consider When Moving to Spain with Children

By David Johns

Summary: If you're a family moving to Spain (or anywhere in the world), David John's article offers great advice for helping your children through the relocation process. From keeping your children involved in the move to considering their education.

Expat Spain - Things to consider When Moving to Spain with Children

When you're thinking about starting a fresh life in Spain and you have children, there are essential things you must consider before going through with it.

Children are often said to be resilient and adaptive, and while that may be true, they are just human and can just as easily be affected by life changing decisions.

The first few weeks after a move, even domestically, will always be the most difficult. Therefore, the more you prepare; the easier the transition can be.

RESEARCH

It sounds obvious, but do your research before making any major decisions. Consider where you plan on actually living – are you looking at rural areas where there is likely to be nothing to do for children or are you looking at areas near the beach that get crowded in the summer and have busy roads to contend with? Moving to a rural area might sound appealing to you because of how peaceful and quiet it might be, but the likelihood is your children may often get bored and find it more difficult making new friends if they're in a remote area with not many other people about. On the other hand, living in areas that may get enormously crowded in the summer might cause you nothing but worry – particularly where roads are concerned.

KEEP THEM INVOLVED

Even if your children are only very young when you plan to move, one day they are going to be more grown up and it's therefore important they are involved in the move and able to have their say. The last thing children want is to feel neglected or that they aren't being treated “like a grown up”, so asking them questions and getting their thoughts – unless they're an infant of course – is essential in order to make a move as smooth as possible. Don't be afraid to give them responsibilities as well, so things like letting them be in charge of their own personal belongings, toys and other items – they will appreciate that you're considering their feelings in all of this and that they aren't just being dragged along without a choice or say in the matter.

CONSIDER THEIR EDUCATION

It goes without saying how important any child's education is, and moving to a foreign country where a different language is spoken puts obvious hurdles in the way, so consider whether you might be able to afford a personal tutor when you first get out there who can maybe start teaching your child Spanish so they're able to integrate into the community better and maybe even join a normal Spanish school should they grasp the language easily. Alternatively, they're plenty of English speaking schools in Spain so if you're child struggles with the language or is adamant they would prefer an English-speaking school, all is not lost.

DON'T FOOL THEM INTO THINKING IT WILL BE ONE BIG HOLIDAY

It may sound all good and well if you're desperate for the move, to only mention the positive things about moving to Spain to your child such as the beaches and the weather. However, don't trick them into thinking it will be like one big holiday. At the end of the day, your child is still going to need schooled and then one day college and then work; so while there will be plenty of time to enjoy Spain's natural pleasures there is also a serious side to the move so getting your child into a normal routine as soon as you move out there is extremely important and will help bed them in easier.

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About the Author

David writes on behalf of SpainSpainSpain.com, a property portal and lifestyle magazine; source of useful and colourful articles relating to all things Spain including advice and tips on moving.

Cigna International Health Insurance

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Comments about this Article

GARYM65
Sep 15, 2015 08:51

Very interesting but any information on how you would enrol a child in a school within a matter of days of arriving?

First Published: Feb 20, 2014

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