As kids grow into teens, they are more likely to experience sadness, anger or depression when moving away. Research shows that teens spend at least 1/3rd of their day with friends and peers between schools, activities, and just hanging out. This is one of the toughest changes they will experience, and to be separated from their schools, home, neighborhood, and friends is very traumatic. Unfortunately teens do not always know how to cope with their feeling of the loss. Making and keeping friends is very important in a teenager’s social development. Remember it is natural for your teen to start backing away and withdrawing or even kicking and screaming during this relocation process.
Get Them Involved:
If your still looking for your new residence, ask your teen for their opinion, get them involved. Give them a project (like picking out colors for their wall), or helping you on where you want the furniture to go, or getting their opinion on picking out the house.
Visiting the New Neighborhood:
Take your teen to the new area; let them get to scope the area out. See if there are any clubs, sports, activities that they may be interested in including school activities, or outside school activities. Figure out where shopping centers, activities, etc are. See if there is voluntary stuff, or festivals, something fun your teen may want to get involved with. Finding stuff for your teen to do can be helpful so they have something to look forward to. Make sure when you are registering for school, they are present so they have a chance to check out their new high school, and other activities the school may have.
Discuss Visiting the Old Neighborhood:
Your teen may be old enough to drive themselves, so figuring out when they can go back and visit old friends is a good plan. If relocating out of state, maybe they can have a friend for a weekend, or plan a weekend back at their old neighborhood, don’t restrict them, or they will rebel. By allowing them visits, it can make things a little easier on the moving process.
Allow Your Teen To Express Their Feelings:
Your teen is most likely going to be emotional over the process. They will probably be thinking you should allow them to graduate and then move and will probably be resentful. Allow them to express themselves, let them know they are heard.
Figure Out How They Would Like to Say Their Goodbyes:
Whether it is a going away party for their closest friends or a weekend away. If you do not allow your teenager to go through the hugging, crying, and the saying goodbye process, they will probably regret it, and be resentful towards you.
THINGS NOT TO DO:
Youll Make New Friends:
Don’t tell your teenager that they will make new friends, they are not worried about making new friends, they are more concerned with parting with the old friends.
Don’t Bribe Them:
Whether its new clothes, car, accessories, etc, it’s not going to change how they feel, so bribing is never a good approach.
Don’t Turn Your Back:
Expect your teenager to have fits and tantrums. They will most likely withdraw, and, probably want their space. Make sure your teen knows you are there for them, and again allow them to express themselves.
Remember you must be firm in the relocation process, even if there is screaming, kicking, and crying. Your teenager will bounce back, and change is difficult, but over time, they will adapt.