Special Moving Situations: Moving with a Teenager

When we contemplate the detail of moving we soon realize that the stresses and strains associated are mind-boggling and not for the faint-hearted. Now put yourself in your teenage son’s or daughter’s shoes and cast your mind back to how you would have felt and reacted at that age. That way, you can appreciate a teenager's perspective through the moving process.

Preparing your Teenager for the Move:

• Make it a fun! Humor is a wonderful stress leveler. Suggest that your teenagers buy a diary and keep a daily log of the events as these affect them. Get them to record their emotions and their impressions as the move proceeds and suggest that they reflect back on what they have written once the move is over and they are settling into their new environment. This writing experience will stand them in good stead for future roles and responsibilities in their journey throughout life.

• Get them involved. Perhaps you are still searching for your new home? Why not involve the teenagers? Ask them for their preferences, particularly when it comes to their own bedroom and the color scheme they have in mind. The earlier you involve them in the process the better, as this will give your teenagers a sense of participation and involvement in the decision making process.

When you find your dream home get as much detail as you can and feed this information back to your teenagers. Give them a feeling of empowerment and a sense of ownership over their own private space in the new home. It will give your sons and daughters direction and a feeling of belonging, and being useful during the stressful times of moving home too.

• More work for your teen. Moving requires a lot of work - more than sometimes you can handle. Give your teenager a job like helping you locate some boxes or call moving companies. Teens are able to handle a lot and that also applies to work. Whatever the task is make sure they enjoy it and are productive. The little extra hand will help them assert their energy while helping you get organized for moving day.

• Let them say goodbye. Before the movers arrive and you wave goodbye to your old home, make sure your teenager says their goodbyes to their friends. Consider having a going away party where your teen can exchange address, email addresses and phone numbers with all of their friends.

Valuable Assistance on the Other Side:

• Now that the move is complete, you may be starting to check out your new town or city. Have your teenagers research the new town or city and ask them to locate important facilities and amenities, both for business and leisure that will be used by the entire family.

• As your teen is settling-in, encourage that they stay connected to their friends. This can be via phone or email or even a planned trip.

• Selecting a new school and enrolling there are major milestones and potential panic-zones for any teenager, too. Involve them upfront so that they can feel more confident and assured as they step into a whole new world. Research clubs and sports facilities and help your teenagers to make decisions in these very important recreational fields as well.

When moving, the best bet for both you and your teen is to assign them a specific role, and encourage them to be fully involved in the moving and settling in processes. Help them to compile a task list so that they can feel a sense of adding value, while they make their meaningful and worthwhile contributions a well. With some patience and time, your teenager will adapt to their new home.