Just moved to Singapore and worry about your child not adjusting to life here? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you come up with some strategies to support your child during this transition.
In general, raising your child abroad in a completely different culture has a few unique challenges. From worrying about your child experiencing culture shock to helping them learn the language and make new friends, everything seems like a challenge at the beginning.
Yet, here’s the good news: when they are little, kids can be pretty flexible about new things simply because they don’t overthink as we do. They are excited about discovering new places and making new friends. So, all you have to do is to guide them on how to make a home out of Singapore.
Teach Them the Cultural Differences
When moving abroad into a new culture, there is one essential thing that everybody needs to do in order to avoid culture shock: learn the local traditions and customs. Plus, it isn’t just a matter of knowing what to expect once you get there, but it is also a great way to show your respect to the culture you are trying to fit in.
Each culture is different. What seems completely normal in your home country may be frowned upon in a different culture, and the other way around. So, learning the traditions, customs and beliefs of the welcoming culture is an essential step to adjust to life there.
Singapore has a very rich culture which, like any other culture, has its own unique traditions. For example, you need to take your shoes off before entering a mosque or a temple, wash your feet and hands before entering a Hindu temple, and treat the elderly with the utmost respect and courtesy no matter if you know them or not.
Teach Them the Language
Language barriers tend to be one of the hardest challenges to overcome when motiving with your kids abroad. However, when moving to Singapore with children, there is nothing to worry about if your child can speak any of the four national languages. Singapore has four national languages that are officially recognized including Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, and English.
Luckily, most people speak English fluently in Singapore. English is also predominant in schools in Singapore, so if your child speaks the language, they shouldn’t experience any language barriers with their classmates or teachers.
If, however, your child isn’t proficient in English or wants to learn a new language to communicate more easily with their friends, you can take them to language classes to improve their skills.
Pay Pre-visits to Your Child’s New School
Helping your kids adjusting to school life is difficult wherever in the world you might be. They need to get used to the schedule, their teachers, and their classmates in order to feel excited and safe about going to school.
So, if your child is soon starting school in Singapore, you may want to help them get used to their new school before they start attending classes. You can, for example, pay pre-visits to your child’s new school to help them learn a thing or two about what it’s like to be a student there.
Also, you can look for your child’s future classmates and arrange some play dates to help them make new friends so that they can feel more confident about going to a new school. Plus, you can connect with other expats parents to give you a few Singapore parenting tips and tricks on how to help your child adjust to life here more easily.
Make Singapore Fun for Them
In Singapore, according to the culture here, the family is the center of the social structure and it is very important. So, wherever you will turn your head, you will find lots of activities and places that you can enjoy together with your kids.
Singapore is home to a number of parks and amusement and water parks where you can take your kids and let them enjoy all the fun activities they can do there. From the most fun water parks such as Universal Studios Singapore or Wild Wild Wet to the most beautiful gardens, which are also home to many playgrounds such as Gardens by Bay or East Coast Park, Singapore has many fun places to offer to your kids.
The more fun your kids will have in the city, the sooner they will start to love this place and adjust to life here. And, trust us on this one, with so many exciting activities and places here, it is incredibly easy to fall in love with this place.
Teach Your Kids the Laws
Singapore is generally a multicultural heaven for expats parents. Being surrounded by such a diverse culture makes it extremely easy to help your child learn many new things about other cultures. Yet, like any other place in the world, Singapore isn’t only ruled by traditions and customs but also by unique laws.
It may sound a little extreme to discuss laws with your child when moving to Singapore. Yet, there are a few unusual laws that may be surprising both for you and your child so you may want to warn them before they get in trouble. For example, chewing gum is allowed in Singapore by the law only for therapeutic purposes if you have a medical prescription from a doctor or a dentist.
Another important law that your child should know is the fact that throwing any sort of garbage on the street can result in a $1000 fine. So, you may want to remind your kids how important it is to put trash where it belongs: in the garbage can. Also, eating or drinking in public transportation can result in a fine up to 500$.
Raising a child in Singapore isn’t as difficult as you may imagine. You just have to observe and adjust to the unique particularities of Singaporean everyday life and help your child do so too. Help your child find new friends, experience all the fun activities here, and adjust to their new school and it will be easy for them to put down roots in Singapore.