Family Guide: Teenagers

Teenagers have the most difficult time when moving. They will have made strong friendships and probably spend most of their free time with their friends and will be very hesitant to move away from this sense of security.

Teenagers are going through a difficult time anyway with their bodies physically changing and their emotions in constant turmoil. Teenagers focus on the emotion of moving which to them is basically losing their friends so be gentle with them however hard that might seem at the time.

Here are some useful tips to help teens cope:

  • Explain to them why you are moving and what the benefits are to the family.

  • Keep them involved in the move. Ask them to do some research about your new city and report their findings back to you. This will help them feel involved and also make help them look forward to seeing the new city and all the things they have found out about it during the research.

  • Never be too busy for your teen. No matter how stressful the move is for you make time for them. Empathize with them so they feel you understand the inner turmoil they are going through.

  • If you have a choice on when to move, work with your teen on when is the best time to move. Some people try to move during the holidays so their children can begin the new term in the new school and not be the new kid on the block, others prefer to move mid term so their children can begin a school routine immediately after the move.

  • Encourage them to find out about clubs or groups that share the same hobbies or interests as they do such as a running club or a stamp collectors club.

  • Encourage your teen to get phone numbers and email addresses of friends and be sure to encourage them to keep in contact with their old friends after the moving.

  • After you have moved and are somewhat settled in, plan a trip back to your old city or bring some of your teenagers old friends to stay with you for a vacation.

Advice for parents whose teens do not want to move.

Although most teenager will go through the normal pattern of complaining when they hear of the impending move very few will flat out refuse to move. Unfortunately you may be one of those people whose teen does not wish to move or even flatly refuses to move. It is very important that you talk with your teen to understand why he does not want to move.

Teens can have valid reasons why they do not want to move so listen. He may wish to finish out the school year and graduate with his class or he may wish to stay on an athletic team. There may be a special class he is attending that he wishes to finish.

Your teen may just want to remain with friends or to gain more freedom. If possible try to work with your teenager to understand all the options. These could include staying with trusted friends until the school year is over and joining the family at that time or completing high school before moving back with the family.

If you are willing to work with your teen he will also need to understand that he will need to work with you. Ask him where he would live if not with friends or relatives and who would pay the food and utility bills. Do not be at all surprised if he changes his mind after trying to answer these questions however no matter what the decision he will have taken part in making a major decision.