Culture Shock Stage 2: Denial

You are caught between the positive vacation feelings and newer negative feelings stemming from having to face the reality of living here for two or three years. You are still excited but somehow the feelings are more forced. For many, the initial reaction is to deny the negative feelings, or starting to feel that you must be doing something wrong because of course you should be excited.

With kids, you might see a regression in toilet training, or wetting the bed. Sometimes the child will begin to have a series of stomach aches that seem to have no physical source.

With younger kids this stage can creep up on soft soled feet, in that the things that can trigger denial is adults (“Oh, I guess it is OK that we got sick eating from a street vender's cart”) are not things kids deal with in a “I'm responsible” kind of way. With our own children we sometimes were able to bypass this stage in large part by keeping things in the earlier “Vacation Stage” focused on adapting to a new place as opposed to having so much fun touring around that we skipped the adjustments at the earliest chance.

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