Here are some tips for teens living in isolated locations:
- 1. Some parents allow their teens to keep in touch with friends through Facebook and Skype.
- 2. For teens ages 14 and up I would recommend that they fly to their home country to spend 6-8 weeks with grandparents or aunts/uncles during one summer break if possible (or precede parents on a trip home). Starting at age 15, some teens who make a trip home take a summer community college course while staying with family or friends…for the experience of it…and getting their feet wet in society.
- 3. In some areas, close family friends who live in the same country or nearby country with similarly aged teens send them to spend a few weeks with a friend over the summer or spring break.
4. Start early with whatever church will be your home church during the next time of home leave (even though it may be 2 years out). Ask the youth director/pastor to begin communicating with your teens. If a family is not already known in the church, ask the youth director to put them in contact with some families with same age teens.
5. For teens in at least 10th grade, then I would recommend that they connect with students/families with students who attend the university they plan on attending. If one is even at the end of his 9th grade year it is not too soon to get him thinking about where he wants to go…and writing people who attend there.
6. Are there teens or college age local kids that your teens can connect with?
7. Could a teen English club be started in your home? Sometimes just having a teen connection…even if it is not with other teens from your home country…will give your teens an aspect of teen culture.
8. Celebrate most or ALL holidays that your teen will be celebrating in your home country. Sometimes we get out of the habit of some of the holidays that can be a big deal in our country. Make sure your teens know basics about the holidays, sports, movies, and music that might be talked about at least in Christian circles. Invest in some movies and music that are popular.
9. Are there other expats with young kids or maybe even workers who are single who recently came from your home country? These young adults can be a great asset to have around for teens in isolation.
10. If you know a teen in your home country who is graduating high school, this person might enjoy a summer trip/adventure prior to college starting. Perhaps this person’s church would send him/her to spend 3-4 weeks with your family over the summer? This person can fill in your younger teens on teen life back home.
11. Consider boarding school, especially for the senior year. Some students, especially those in areas where there are no other English speaking teens, need preparation for college life in an environment that is still somewhat similar to home life. Very social students or students who are burned out with homeschooling may decide not to go to college simply because they have no concept of what that will be like.