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Can Immigration Affect Your Family?

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 10:03 PM
Saturday, February 14, 2009

By Lindsay Wagner

Are you planning or in the process of immigrating to the United States? One of the biggest motivations for emigrating is to provide a better standard of living for you and your family. Not only will it change the lives of everyone who goes but also the family members left behind. It’s the children and elderly relatives who generally have the least influence and control over the decision to emigrate and these are the ones who are affected most by the move.
The younger your children are when you emigrate the less affected they will be. They’ll easily forget the life they had before moving and as long as they have the support and close family around them that’s all they’ll have ever known. The change of routine will be confusing and stressful, but this is a short term issue that soon resolves itself.

More likely it’s the parents who’ll miss the added support of having grandparents close at hand to baby sit, join in and share some of the responsibilities, even if it’s only occasionally.

If children are older and more independent when you migrate, the more significant the affects of the move will be. They have their own social life, ideas about what they want, and want some control over what is happening. It’s natural for them to rebel against this type of decision. To them, you’re destroying their life, having no regard for their feelings. Of course, it’s probably quite the opposite. In my view, if the reasons for older kids not wanting to go are caused by short term issues, such as friends and school, these things will change even if you stay where you are within a few years. You can safely discount these.

If the reason for not wanting to go is focused around long term reasons, career, university opportunities, future life plans, your motivations for moving need to be examined more closely. Your motivations should be aligned with everyone’s long term goals.

For elderly parents or relatives left behind, there’s also a whole range of emotions to deal with. On the one hand they’ll be supportive and understanding of your desire to improve your lives, but also will be thinking about how life will be different for them when you’re gone.

Why not sponsor your elderly parents?

Depending upon how much you’ve been a regular part of their lives, they’ll go through a grieving process when you leave. This can take a long time to come to terms with and they may never fully get over your decision. Whilst they can still speak to you and occasionally see you, there’s still a big gap in their lives.

There’s the added complications of traveling to see you, as they get older this becomes more difficult.

There comes a point when you say good bye that you may never see them again. They may worry about what will happen to them as they get older. What new arrangements do they need to make for care if you’re not there to help? Not being able to take an active part in their grandchildren growing up.

Whilst life is moving on to new and exciting pastures for you, it’s also important to appreciate the situation from their viewpoint and recognize that their feelings are important. If your children, when they are grown, decide to move back or to a new country, how will you feel about that? What will you do?

Your approach emigration, it’s extremely hard to create a happy outcome for everyone. The key to success is having clarity as a family in your reasons for emigrating. This will be the solid foundation on which to build your new life. When you’re clear about why you’re going, what the benefits are to each person and why that’s important to them, the more positive the affect of emigrating will be for everyone.

After all emigration is not the goal, it’s just a stepping stone to the life you want. Focus on the end result not the getting there.

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