Moving at any time can be stressful, but moving a family to a foreign country is a major decision. Your success will depend on many variables. With children, you can expect resistance. They will have their own agenda and some of it will be based on fear of the unknown. In the end, the decision rests with your unique family situation and dynamic interaction of the individuals.
There are a multitude of reasons why experiencing a different culture is positive for children. And Spain is a country that has many opportunities for expanding a worldview for your children.
Before I moved my two under-10s to our new Playa Flamenca property, I was worried about safety, but it was needless worry. First you need to understand that Spain is a relatively safe place for everyone in your family. According to the statistics reported on Wikipedia, Spain is one of the safest countries in Europe. In fact, Britain is now known as the most violent nation in Europe. The will be a comforting thought as you make your plans for your family.
b) Education System
Apart from the safety of their children, the second most critical factor to parents will most likely be the educational system in Spain. Spain ranks in the middle of countries for the effectiveness of their educational system in state schools. (33 out of 65 in the OECD, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) All children from the age of 6 to 16 must attend school and there is an obligation of the school system to assist foreigners to integrate into the educational system. However, the educational system is only part of educating your children. Having the opportunity to experience another culture, learn another language and to establish friendships will only deepen your child’s appreciation and empathy for a global community. If you have a university-aged student, rest assured that there are several top ranking universities in Spain, some with courses taught in English.
c) Health System in Spain
The Health Care system in Spain can compete with most first world countries. When you are living and working in Spain you will have free access to the state system.
d) Keeping In Touch With the Family Members
With today’s modern technology, it is a given that if individuals want to remain connected that the tools to do so are numerous and easy to use. Spain is not really that far away from the United Kingdom to prohibit face to face visits. And what family member or friend would not enjoy an invitation to Spain in the depths of winter?
Tips About the Move
Timing is Key
Moving a child mid-school year is not advised as it can disrupt the learning as well as tearing about their social network. If at all possible plan on the move during one of the school holidays.
Provide Choices for Your Child
Giving children choices helps them feel more in control of situations. In a time when their world is being turned upside down is the time to help them exert control in a manageable way. Let them select their clothes for school, their lunch favourites or the bedroom in the house that will be their own.
Spend More Time With Your Children
Children need to know that their parents value them. And the most significant way to show them is by being with them, even if it is just a walk on the beach together.
So armed with these facts and a few tips you can turn around what might have been a terrible situation into an adventure of a lifetime for your children.