Saying goodbye

Help make moving home easier for your kids

For very young children, moving house can be very hard indeed. They have become accustomed to their home, their room, their friends and their routines and to leave all this can throw them into confusion.

Help them with your overseas relocation by enabling them to say a proper goodbye to their ‘old’ life.

The importance of saying goodbye

Goodbyes create closure. Closure isn’t just required for children either, it’s important for all the family, including you, to say goodbye to your old home, friends and family. Goodbyes help you to move forward.

Throw a party

Depending on your circumstances and the age of your child, you could throw a small farewell party for them. Don’t make it too much of a big deal as this will emphasise the enormity of the impending move, but a nice get-together of friends and family can help.

Create a goodbye book

Have your child lead you around your house and favourite areas while you take photographs. Print these photos out and make a scrap book of special places and items. Children often have an unexpected way of seeing things that we often miss, so it’s important to get your child’s input into this book.

Encourage your child to tell you why each scene is special to them and write it into the book. Then, when you’re in the new house you can find similarities to point out.

Take a keepsake from the home

I’ve mentioned before about the importance of bed linen and, of course, favourite toys when it comes to settling a child into a new home. You could also put something small from the home into the scrapbook, for example, a piece of bedroom curtain or a scrap of wallpaper. Press a flower from the garden or take a small pebble. Again, be led by your child as they have an eye for the small details we adults don’t notice.

Explain the details

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, children have a peculiar outlook on life! For example, my daughter couldn’t grasp, or accept, the idea of someone else using ‘her’ bedroom. It is a tricky concept to explain to a youngster, but do answer unambiguously. If you will never go back to that house or that country again, tell them. Be honest and make it clear the move is permanent. Clarify that nothing will change within the family, just the house and country.

Reassure repeatedly

Your child will need lots of reassurance from you that all is well. Expect to have ups and downs, and part of this will be to explain all sorts of issues again and again. This is all totally normal as young children thrive on routine and stability. If you can keep up normal routines in your new home, you’re halfway through the battle. Introduce new routines gradually and enjoy your new life.

You know your child’s disposition best, so decide what will work for them, and you.



Need to talk 1-1 about your move and life overseas with someone who 'gets it'? Consider me your own, personal expat expert! I'm here for you.

Your one-stop-shop for a successful life abroad

Expatability Club

An expat community and advice hub where you’ll never feel alone or unsupported. With an Expat Expert in your pocket for real-time support.

Let's stay in touch!

Subscribe to my newsletter and be first to hear news and updates from Carole.

By subscribing you also agree to receive marketing emails from Carole Hallett Mobbs. You can opt-out of these emails at any time. My full privacy policy can be seen here: Privacy Policy

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Want some personalised advice?

Find out how I can help you make your expat life a success!