8 simple ways to keep connected with your child abroad
Keep connected, keep in touch. It’s important!
We know it was a hard goodbye but keeping updated about your child’s well-being is not that tough. Irrespective of the distance, there are many ways to stay connected with your child and make their study abroad journey smooth for both of you. Here’s how you can keep in touch with them:
1. Decide how you will communicate
There are many ways in which you can keep connected with your child – email, Skype, Facebook, Viber, WhatsApp, etc. See what’s most convenient to both of you. It’s best to use only one or two plans and not all of them so you can each have some personal space.
2. Pre-decide a time to talk
When you pre-decide when to talk, it sets the right expectations for both parents and children. You know when to talk and how often to keep in touch without cringing on each other’s personal space. Usually, the best time to decide this is when your child is settled in their program. This is when they can plan more confidently about their time schedules and plans.
In cases when your child is not able to respond to your calls or messages, don’t panic immediately. It could be due to a hectic schedule, low Wi-Fi bandwidth or variance in time zones. It’s best to keep your timings flexible and not be over-demanding. This will help prevent any agitation if unable to cope with the difference in time zones.
3. Keep emergency contacts handy
Both of you should always have some emergency contacts saved. For instance, keep handy the contact details of their college representatives or some close friends to reach out to if they are not reachable for a longer period. Similarly, make sure your child has numbers they can reach out to if you are not available in an emergency.
4. Keep in touch with the authorities
Many institutions have forums where they involve parents in many activities. Be a part of the same and volunteer for some responsibilities if possible. Keep in touch with the study program authorities, student counsellors, etc. so you are updated about key events and activities.
5. They’ll need practical advice. Guide them
Guide your children about practical survival skills to sustain abroad. Starting a life overseas is an overwhelming experience – educate them on money management and budgeting. Guide them on how to plan their monthly expenses so they can manage their finances well.
While there are many Indian restaurants abroad, it’d be best to teach them some basic recipes for times when they can’t go out or order in. Unlike India, help isn’t available that cheap abroad and they’ll have to take care of staple house chores on their own. Teach them how to manage these along with their coursework, job and student activities.
6. Emotional support matters
Sending them abroad is a difficult decision and is equally challenging for both parents and children. Involve yourself in their decisions, encourage and motivate them for what they do. Remember, sometimes your emotional support will help them more than your financial support.
7. React later, listen first
Your child will experience many new things and adventures abroad and so would also go through a range of emotions they have never felt before. When they share about these with you, it is important for you to listen to them patiently. React only if you need to and advise with a calm mind.
8. Pre-departure help/talk/sessions
Prepare them for the big change so they can cope up with ease and are open to adjusting to a completely new environment. Better still, come to one of our pre-departure sessions wherein we brief them on life abroad, challenges and how to adjust in another country.
Create some memories before they leave for their studies abroad. Go out, play games, watch movies together or just simply sit and chat, these are the moments they’ll cherish the most when apart.
Updated on December 14, 2020
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