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How to prepare children for a move to Slovakia?
Whether you are temporarily relocating for work or moving abroad for a new start, having children in the picture can make the process more challenging. Helping children to say goodbye to their friends in various settings can be challenging, and for this reason, it is important to approach the issue in the right way in order to allow for a smooth and pleasant transition for the children. In this article, we have gathered some tips to help you with this task.
The Education System in Slovakia
Explain the education system to the children, and to which kindergarten or school they will attend. The education system in Slovakia is similar to that in Israel: up to the age of 3, there is a type of daycare, from the age of 3 to 6 there is kindergarten. There are public or private options, with private kindergartens generally preferred by some Israelis as they provide more attention to the children. Private kindergartens also offer lessons in different subjects such as languages, sports, and music. Schools in Slovakia are divided into three levels: from the age of 6 to 10 is elementary, from the age of 10 to 15 is secondary, and above the age of 15 is high school, where one can choose to study in a gymnasium (like academic high school) or in a vocational high school that provides both a vocational certificate and a profession. Some high schools have entrance exams, and this depends on demand. High school studies last for 4 years. Education in Slovakia is free, including university studies in the local language.
How to Inform Children
The hardest part is always the announcement itself, and the initial reactions of the children to the news. Some of them may be excited about the idea, especially the younger ones, while their older siblings, who have a better understanding of the subject, may express reluctance. It is recommended to involve the children in the process as much as possible from the earliest stage. Giving them time to digest the idea is an important component in accepting the transition well. It is recommended to inform the older children first so they can help the younger ones feel secure.
Try to avoid surprises
No matter the age, children need a sense of security and stability in life. For this reason, it’s important to involve them in the process as much as possible. Show them pictures of the new home, tell them about the school, about things in the new living environment, about hobbies they can develop, and so on. Children who know what to expect will feel much more secure and the transition will be easier for them. It’s worth reminding them that they have the option to keep in touch with their friends in the old country and maybe even visit them. If possible, it may be worthwhile to allow the children to visit the destination with you before the actual move.
Help the children adjust
To allow the children to land in their new destination smoothly, it is recommended to allow them to start adapting from an early stage by learning the new language through games and videos. Tell them about the new country, its culture, and its history. Prepare a list of recreational places in the new destination that you can visit with the children when you arrive. Ski resorts, amusement parks, and the like. The more the children hear, the more they will be excited and get into the rhythm.
Let them say goodbye
After going through all the persuasion, talk, and perhaps excitement from the children, the moment of truth arrives. Children need to say goodbye to their friends. In order to give the children a real farewell experience, organize a farewell party with their friends so that they feel they are at the center of attention. It’s important not to completely cut off the children from their friends, especially since there is a chance you will return soon.
Pack everything together
When it comes to relocation for work purposes, the employer will send a moving company to pack all the items. However, it is important to start the packing process together with the children and think about what to take. It’s an important step that allows the children to be partners in the process. Pack a box for each child with their belongings, so they feel comfortable in their new home.
In summary, moving abroad with children is a complex process for parents and children alike. It’s important to stay grounded throughout the process and provide children with a sense of security and stability. Try to involve the children in the process as much as possible, emphasize all the benefits involved in the move, and listen to their concerns.