Teenage years can be a challenging time for even the most laid back of kiddos. From brewing hormones and first girlfriend and boyfriends to balancing schoolwork, learning to drive and after-school jobs, 13- to 19-year-olds can be understandably moody and angst-filled.
This is why, when you decide to move the family to a new city due to a job or other reasons, you should be prepared to spend extra time helping your teen cope. Help each party make it through the move as smoothly as possible by checking out the following tips:
Schedule the Move During Summer
As Parenthood notes, leaving school in the middle of the year is disruptive to your teen’s academic and social life. Plus, this means your teen would have to start at a new school mid-stream. If at all possible, try to move during the summer months.
Be There to Listen
While it’s possible your teen might be looking forward to the move and a fresh start, chances are you will be dealing with some whining, arguments and tearful moments. These reactions are normal, so don’t allow your son or daughter to make you feel guilty for the move. But even though your teen might be hard to be around while you are packing up boxes, make sure you are available to talk 24/7. Simply listen to your teen, without arguing or interrupting, and let them know you understand their fears and concerns about moving.
Explore Your New City
A great way for your teen to feel more at home in your new city is to encourage them to get out and explore. As Kids Health notes, print out a map of the city and schedule a few afternoons for the two of you to head out and find their new school, the local mall, ice cream shop, closest Starbucks and pizza place. If your teen is at least 15 years old, encourage them to get a driver’s permit.
Check out Driving-Tests.org for a practice permit test and show them how many other teens their age have used the site as a helpful resource to pass their test. Once your teen has a driver’s permit, they can take the wheel as you drive around your new neighborhood together. This practice alone can inspire a sense of adventure and, more importantly, help your teen adapt to and feel more comfortable in their new city.
Schedule a Return Visit Home
An effective way to help teens cope with a move is to promise a return visit in the not-so-distant future. It’s hard for teens to say goodbye to friends, neighbors and even their boss at the grocery store, so knowing they will have the chance to spend time together again can be immensely helpful.
Stay in Touch with Friends, Family
Make sure your teen has the necessary tools in place to stay connected with their old friends. If the budget allows, help your teen buy a smartphone that can be used for texting, emailing, Facetiming and, yes, even calling their BFFs. Additionally, make sure your new home is Internet-ready, so your teens can stay in touch with their friends.
Take Their Wish List Into Account
Granted, you have the final say in which home or apartment you will buy or rent. But you can still ask your teen for input on what they would enjoy in a new home. Getting the blue bedroom walls your son has always wanted or a kitchen island where your daughter can do homework can help make the move easier to swallow.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
I’ve accepted that for the foreseeable future, I will probably never have a home that will be featured in a Martha Stewart magazine—with kids, a hubby and 5 pets we have a lot of “stuff” in our home. I’m still working on accepting that my kids are getting older and some day they will move out….which means maybe I will get a shot at that Martha Stewart photo shoot one day!
What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
I have learned to appreciate that I’m a good friend to people and that I’m always there for them when I need them. I think I’m still working on appreciating how stepping on Legos at 2 a.m. in bare feet just means you have happy kids in the home who enjoy playing with their toys.
What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?
My most rewarding achievement by far is being a mom. My two sons make me so proud and I love being with them. As for goals and dreams, I would love to rent an RV one day and drive around the country with my family.
We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?
My main imperfection that comes to mind is that I’m not great at getting enough rest. I have one son who is an early bird and one who is a night owl and so to spend time with each of them I’m typically up early and up late.
“I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?
A dear friend of mine once told me “You should never say anything about yourself that you wouldn’t say to a best friend or your mom.” I really took this to heart and strive to avoid all negative self-talk, even when said in jest. I love my positive self-talk!