When you have to move, it’s something that can cause disruption and sometimes emotional upset for everyone in your family. Teens can be especially impacted by a move, and that becomes even truer if the move is out-of-state our away from the school they attend.
Sometimes parents get so caught up in the move’s impact on them that they neglect the emotional response of their teens. The following are some ways you can help get your teen ready for a move, including a move that might take you to another state.
Think About the Logistics
First and foremost, while you might think about the logistics that will affect you and your spouse during a move, you should also think about the logistics that will be most important to your teen. For example, if you’re moving to another state, will your teen need to get a new driving permit or driver’s license?
Sometimes focusing on these things that are important to a teen and making sure they’re getting done can help them feel more comfortable with a move overall.
If your teen is preparing to get their learner’s permit, but they haven’t gotten it in your current state yet, work with them on practice permit tests for the new state where you’ll be moving.
These are things that will help your teen feel as if they’re going to be able to build their life in their new home, and it will give them something to focus on aside from feeling sad about leaving their current school, friends, and life.
Another area of logistics to think about is school enrollment. You want your teen enrolled in school and ready to go as soon as possible following your move because this gets them involved in their new life. Be sure you’re aware of dress codes or school policies, and if you have the opportunity to do a tour and meet the teachers and administrators, even better.
Provide Your Teen with Plenty of Notice
You may not want to tell your teen about a move right away, maybe because you don’t want them to be upset, or you’re unsure of the details yourself. That can be a bad strategy, however.
Even if you’re doing it to protect your teen, no one likes to feel blindsided. Keep them up-to-date on what’s happening and what your move might look like.
This will also give you the opportunity to have them actively participate in the move. For example, getting your teens involved in house hunting might make them feel more enthusiastic and included.
Be open with your communication and be willing to hear concerns your teen may have about a move. Check-in with them regularly and see how they’re doing with things.
Help Your Teen Set Up His or Her Room First
Once you actually make your move, help your teen set up their room as soon as you can. You have time to do the rest of the house, but you want your teen to feel like they’re familiar with their space, and you want them to start getting comfortable as soon as possible.
Help Your Teen Get to Know the New Area
There are a lot of ways you can help your teen become more familiar, not just with their new house, but their new city or town.
As a parent, start by doing research not just on the city but also the neighborhood. Map out some places that you think will interest your teen and then join them to check those places out. If you find a group or club they might be interested in, reach out and get information about joining so you can pass it on to your teen.
Finally, when you’re about to move with your teens, encourage them to have closure. This might include a fun going away party or arranging a night out with their friends. This will allow them to say goodbye and leave on a pleasant note.
Luckily with social media and digital communication, it’s easy for teens to stay in touch with friends they leave behind, but you should still encourage them to get out and about and become part of their new school and community as well.
If your teen doesn’t seem to be adjusting in a reasonable amount of time, make sure you know how to watch for signs of depression. If you spot any red flags, therapy may be a good option to help your teen adjust.