Anytime you move, it can be hard on the children in your family. When you move to an entirely new country, the challenges your family will face increase.
Immigrating to the United States could mean more freedom and more economic opportunities for your family. In theory, if your family travels together, you will be there to help your children acclimate to their new lives in the United States. In practice, it’s often easy to overlook the experiences and needs of the children in the family while handling the practical requirements of immigration.
When you understand the potential impact that immigration will have on your children, you will have an easier time assisting them with their transition and minimizing the negative consequences of such a drastic change for your family.
Younger children often struggle more
Researchers note that older children and adults tend to thrive in an immigration situation. Although they face psychological stress, culture shock and possibly even racism when they first settle in the united states, it is common for adults and teenage immigrants to adjust quickly and report positive outcomes for physical and mental health following immigration.
Researchers note that children under the age of 13 often report increased challenges when compared with older children. They may have a higher risk of depression and other mental health challenges than older children. They will therefore likely require more direct support and careful monitoring than teenagers would.
Areas where they may require support include adjusting socially to the differences in culture in the United States and overcoming a language barrier. Tutoring or counseling may help reduce those consequences.
Value your heritage while focusing on the future
As parents trying to raise healthy and happy immigrant children, you will have some unique challenges. Some families turn their backs on their cultural practices and focus on trying to live a truly American lifestyle.
It is often better to find a balance between embracing the culture in the United States and observing traditions from your cultural background. You can give your children a sense of belonging here in the United States while simultaneously helping them feel connected to their broader family and community.
Identifying challenges for your family as you consider immigration opportunities can help you ensure the process is a positive one for your family.