Moving is stressful for all members of the family. Teens, however, face some specific challenges. For example, peer relationships are particularly influential in adolescence, and leaving friends behind is especially difficult. Teens also may be leaving behind school activities that they enjoy without knowing whether they’ll join these activities at their new school.
Give your teen as much notice about the move as possible so that they can prepare mentally. Explain the reasons for the move and that your family will make this journey together. Then listen for any reaction. If they are anxious or sad, let them know you’ll do all you can to make the move easier on them.
Try to redirect the teen toward the positive aspects of the move. For example, will they have a bigger room? Are you moving from a city to a suburb that has various things to do? Does the move provide a needed opportunity to start fresh?
If Possible, Keep Them in the Same School
One of the most challenging parts of the move for teens is switching schools. If you’re moving to a new school district but are still within driving distance of the old one, you may be able to request an inter-district transfer to keep them in their old school. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia allow students to attend schools out of their district.
If they must switch schools, research the new school to determine their courses and extracurricular activities. Talk with teachers or a guidance counselor for advice on what your teen may need to adjust. Then, tour the new school with your teen. If possible, arrange for them to meet some students ahead of time.
Help Them Maintain Friendships
Encourage your teen to invite friends over for pizza a day or two before the move. Encourage them to take photos of each other and to remain connected through social media or texts. If possible, drive your teen back to the old neighborhood from time to time for get-togethers with old friends.
If your move was a local one, let your teen make a last visit to the old home right after the move. They can check for any items left behind and say final goodbyes. This visit will provide closure.
Involve Them in Plans
Let your teen help choose your new home, touring potential houses, and checking out the neighborhood. If you’re moving long-distance, encourage them to look for homes online with you. Encourage your real estate agent to send photographs of skate parks, malls, schools, and movie theaters or scope out the school route with Google Maps.
Let your teen select the decor and paint color for their new room. Then, allow them to pick out new bedding and other appropriate furniture.
If you are planning your relocation, contact us for a free quote. We can help get you and your family to your new home hassle-free.