How to help children adapt to their new life in Bali

Wise parents think in advance about how to create pleasant conditions for their children after moving to a new place to adapt to life in a foreign country as quickly as possible. What "pitfalls" should be taken into account?


As they say, moving is a loss of something valuable and dear to the heart. It's important not to underestimate the seriousness of the challenges that children face when moving to Bali, or any unfamiliar place for that matter. Here are the main issues:
1. Loss of friends, beloved caregivers, teachers, and other close individuals, as well as familiar places and one's own home.
2. Learning a new language.
3. Adjusting to new food.
4. Adapting to local customs and rules.
5. Dealing with the natural conditions, including the heat, heavy rains, and humid air.
6. Fear of loneliness.
Teenagers, in particular, face greater difficulties as they are already developing their own emotions, habits, opinions, and often have strong personalities. It's more challenging for them to adapt and make connections with classmates.

Who copes better with moving?

Young children often adapt more easily to moves, and they typically encounter fewer problems since they are generally content with life and have more flexible personalities. For them, a move can be seen as a fantastic quest or an adventure in a beautiful country. However, to some extent, their emotional well-being depends on their parents' attitude.
Moreover, if children had hobbies or participated in activities like dance or music before the move, it may be easier for them to find friends with similar interests in Bali.
Having dedicated friends who have a positive influence and encourage self-affirmation and self-realization is essential for children's healthy development. To help children quickly find companions, the whole family needs to make significant efforts. However, the most crucial factor for a smooth adaptation is parental love, support, and attention.

Role of parents

The task of mom and dad is to gently and without pressure encourage children to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions, even if their words reflect hurt or anger. It's important to listen, understand, and reassure them of love. Children should feel that the family is a loving team, like a ship with a reliable captain and a sturdy anchor.
In reality, many families lack proper communication. Unfortunately, the world of technology, gadgets, and social media engrosses people of all ages, pushing face-to-face interaction to the background.
Sometimes, it's beneficial to disconnect electricity and the internet, put aside phones, gather the family in one room, light candles, invent board games, read books, engage in conversation, and share laughter. This brings family members closer together and helps both children and adults feel valued and needed!
When trusting communication is established in the family, there is harmony - then difficulties with moving will be reduced to a minimum.

What else is good for children?

Many are aware that children are like sponges, absorbing everything they see and hear. Therefore, parents should be good, contagious examples for their children. This also plays a significant role in shaping a child's personality and facilitating their rapid adaptation.
Parents should:
1. Be honest, express their feelings, admit mistakes, and say "I love you" sincerely and more often than once a month. Praise children when it's appropriate and genuine.
2. Teach children, especially teenagers, to perceive change and different circumstances correctly.
3. Prepare all family members mentally for the new living conditions, even before the move. Explain what awaits them in the new country. Listen to their opinions and understand if they are ready for the changes.
4. To accurately explain the novelties awaiting children, parents need to gather as much information as possible about the new location, in this case, Bali (place of residence, work, finances, school, language, natural conditions, etc.).
5. Calculate the finances to ensure there's enough for all the essentials, as children might feel worse in the new country than in their home country otherwise.
6. Prepare for the fact that they will need to cook for themselves or eat at European-friendly cafes and restaurants because the local cuisine can be quite specific. Many dishes are spicy, which might be unusual and not tasty for children.
7. The Balinese heat and high humidity can be intolerable for many people, including children. Therefore, it's important to be prepared to cool the house with air conditioners and fans, which also means additional electricity and maintenance costs.
8. Special attention should be given to learning the Indonesian language or, initially, English (before and after the move). Gradually, through games and apps but regularly, every day. This will reduce stress for the children and help them overcome language barriers. They will adapt faster and make new friends.
9. If there are several children in the family with different abilities, it's not necessary to expect the same level of language proficiency from each of them. Perhaps one of the children will need a separate tutor, which also needs to be budgeted for.
10. Parents shouldn't constantly transmit anxiety and fear before and after the move but should focus on the positive. Share pleasant experiences and observations with the children.
11. Don't forget to do something that will alleviate the children's homesickness. Take their familiar toys with you on the trip: teddy bears, dolls, anything dear to them. It's a part of their life from their home, and it will provide them with some comfort and joy.
12. It's desirable to introduce children to the new country through easy videos and cartoons while still at home in their native city.
Explain how funny Indonesian words may sound. For example, for young children, you can try a method like this: tap their cheeks and say "pipik" to indicate cheeks in Indonesian. Or play with their fingers and nails, hide behind your palms, and say, "Peekaboo. Oh, but in the new language, it means nails ('kúku')." This will make it fun and help them remember words more quickly.
Although, of course, it is impossible to foresee everything, you can minimize the feeling of uncertainty and fear if you explain decisions to children calmly, patiently and honestly. It is very important to communicate in child-level language.
Remember! Hasty decisions and rash moves based on emotions can lead to more difficulties than you think. Which ones exactly?

Anticipated Consequences

If you downplay the question of children's adaptation in Bali, not communicating with them, then this can result in the following:
1. Loneliness, leading to disappointment.
2. Distrust even towards parents.
3. Loss of self-confidence.
4. Development of internet addiction.
5. Alienation, a desire to be invisible.
6. Seeking solace in bad company.
7. Depression.
To avoid all of these unpleasant and terrible consequences, it is necessary to make titanic efforts. Good parents deserve praise because raising children is an incredible, difficult task. But patience and effort will definitely be rewarded!

What to do to quickly adapt to new conditions

Here's the translation of the advice for teenagers:
Several secret tips specifically for teenagers:
1. Start learning a few basic words of the new language before your departure to avoid stress later.
2. Be flexible and take initiative; approach and introduce yourself to classmates at school or in the neighborhood. Good friends can be found where you least expect them.
3. Friends can be not only your age but also older kids.
4. Don't dwell too much on memories of your past life, as it can lead to deeper sadness.
5. Learn to find the positives and use them to cover the negatives like lacquer. Smile and be friendly.
6. Learn to laugh at yourself if you struggle with pronunciation or understanding local customs. Turn misunderstandings into jokes.
7. If you don't have a hobby, find something you enjoy doing, and friends with similar interests will come along with time.
8. Don't be afraid to share your inner fears and problems with your parents and trusted friends.
9. Set achievable goals, record them in your personal diary, and mark what you've accomplished and what you haven't.
10. It's better to fight and achieve, to see wonderful results, than to give up and lose precious moments in life.
11. Diligent effort pays off. The key is not to give up! Moreover, in Indonesia and Bali, there are many kind and helpful people with whom you can easily connect. Everything will work out; you just need to look closely.
Parents take note! During all stages of adaptation, create a systematic and organized life and maintain a loving attitude. Make your home a place your children want to return to, not escape from. This way, children will have a clear framework for their lives and more joy.
The most challenging period of adaptation is the first two months. The following three months are the most critical stage. After that, children develop their own habits and skills. It takes about half a year to regain emotional balance. However, it's essential to consider each child's individuality and age, so some children may need more time to adapt to everything new.
Interesting! Psychologists have noticed that during this period of adaptation, there is a pleasant nostalgia for home and memories of the past in the native country. This has a positive impact on both children and adults.
The main thing is not to dwell too deeply on these memories to avoid developing depression. But having a connection to the past is very beneficial. It's nice to remember how you used to walk in the park at home, gather mushrooms in the forest, play in the snow, or joke with your parents... Such thoughts bring a smile and joy.
Some believe that a person without a past is like a tree with its roots torn out. So, occasionally remembering the good times is quite useful!
The journey back from Bali to home also requires preparation. You need to adapt to moving again and help your children adjust, especially if they've just become accustomed to the new place over a year or two. This can be stressful, and parents need to help their children reduce it with love and patience. Some of the methods described in the article can also be applied in this situation.
Any move is like transplanting a houseplant into a garden. Plants gradually adapt to new conditions. They will thrive painlessly if the gardener provides intermediate and general conditions: proper care, watering, and protection.
Similarly, children adapt quickly in Bali if parents support them in time, "water them with love," protect them, and become their friends.
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