Moving with a Teen? Here’s How to Survive
Moving with teenagers can sometimes be more challenging than moving with young children. That’s because of several factors that impact your teen’s complex emotional life. Remember, your teen has formed close bonds with many of his peers—perhaps even a romantic relationship or two. It’s not going to be easy just to pack up and leave—not for your teen, at least.
Here’s how you can help your teen deal with the move.
Give Them a Keepsake Journaling Book
One way that teens can unload their emotions is through a diary or journal. With a keepsake book that includes blank pages, they can write down their thoughts—and they can collect their memories of their current home to take with them to their new one. Encourage them to take photos of their friends, keep some keepsakes from some of their favourite places to hang out, and even some photos of the packing process.
Get Them Involved in the Moving Process
Take them with you to look at new homes in your new location. Look for places near your potential homes where they can go for recreation. Get him or her connected with sport clubs and other youth organisations in the new area. If possible, introduce her or him to other teens in the area so they can correspond through social media, by phone, or by mail during the moving process.
Ask for their input in choosing your removalist. Encourage them to ask questions as if they, too, were in on the hiring process. They will not only become emotionally invested in the process, but will gain valuable interviewing skills for their own future.
Take Your Teen along When You Visit the New School
If at all possible, take your teens to their new school to register. Ask the staff to introduce them to some of the students near their age, if school is still in session. Encourage your teen to ask the school staff questions about the academics, the classes he or she will be taking, and his or her new teachers.
Organise a Farewell Event
Ask your teens how they would like to say farewell to their friends. Whether it’s a party at the beach or a backyard barbecue, make it a memorable event. Your teens and their friends will remember this event for a lifetime.
Encourage Them to Pack Their Own Belongings for the Move
Professional removalists always recommend that their customers take along a few essential belongings in a separate bag to their new home. That way, they’ll have enough clothing, snack food, and other personal items to last them for a few days while they unpack their goods. Ask your teens to pack their own moving essentials bag. The more you get them involved in the process, the more they will take ownership of the move. For teens, feeling in control is more than half the battle.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
No matter how surly your teens become, keep the lines of communication open. They may not show their appreciation, but they will remember your efforts and respect you for your concern.
Let Others Help
If your teen is having a tough time adjusting, turn over the packing process to the removalists and spend more time with your teen. Saving a few dollars isn’t worth distancing yourself from your child. If neighbours, friends, or family want to help, too, let them. Give your relationship with your kids top priority during this challenging time.