Families who immigrate into the United States with children have to ensure that the kids are going to be able to thrive here. One area that they can be concerned about is school. There are several ways that kids can do well in school and enjoy a vibrant social life.
While these tips will not apply to all families, you might find some ways that you can help your children when you first move to this country.
- Take the time to meet their teachers. This gives you a chance to relay your concerns. You may need to bring an interpreter so that you can communicate without misunderstandings.
- Encourage your children to get involved. Extracurricular activities, sports and clubs are a great way for children to meet others who have similar interests. This can be the springboard for them to make friends whose company they will share often and eagerly. Many American schools have activities based in academic subjects and things other than sports.
- Teach your children common American customs. These can be difficult to grasp. Some of the most important are that your children should practice good hygiene, shake hands when they meet someone, make eye contact when talking and respect personal space. Others, such as tipping at restaurants are also important but this can come over time as your children age and mature.
- Learn about some of the common phrases people use. Slang terms change often. Keeping up with these can be challenging, but it can ensure that you know what your children are speaking about. When your children know slang terms, it will help them to fit in better with their peers.
- Be courteous and respectful. Holding the door open for people behind you and speaking in a respectful tone are important here. Work with your children to be sure they understand these customs and are doing them when appropriate.
- Plan to travel. Americans often take their children on vacation to see different parts of the country. These family vacations can give the children something to talk about with their peers. Plus, they are a good opportunity to make positive memories in a new country.
Always have the proper documentation necessary for your children and yourself. Make sure that you read any correspondence from immigration so that you know if there is anything that you need to do for you and your children to remain in the country legally.