Helping Your Teen Adjust to Moving
A move is a significant lifestyle change that can be difficult for teens. Moving is even more traumatic if another significant change, such as a divorce, death, or severe financial troubles, is behind the move.
Here are some tips for helping your teen adjust to a household move.
Allow Time for Adjustment
Tell teens about the move as soon as possible. Teens need a significant time frame to adjust to the news of a move, especially if the move means switching high schools. They may grieve the loss of their dreams for their immediate future, such as attending the prom with a special friend.
Likewise, take your time with the packing, allowing time for reminiscing as you sort.
If your teen is struggling, empathize with them and validate their grief. Tell them you will also miss some aspects of your old neighborhood.
When you talk about the move, be sure to emphasize the positives. For example, will the move mean they can have their own room for a change? Or does it have a pool or another feature that would appeal to them?
Safe Purging and Cleanout for Later
Asking your teen to go through their clothes and belongings and get rid of old things they do not use may be too much for them to handle while dealing with the upheaval of a move. It will help them get used to your new home faster if they can bring familiar things. Also, give them a chance to pack up their stuff, as it can be a cathartic process. Give your teen the reins in packing and preparing for the move. Of course, you can volunteer to assist them and lessen the burden of the process if it gets too overwhelming for them.
Try to Stay in the Same School District
Changing high schools is a significant mental health challenge for teens, especially when it occurs at the same time as losing an old house and neighborhood. Keeping them in the same school district will ease the move.
However, sometimes, you must move to a different school district. Before the move, you can ease the stress by introducing your teen to the school, their new teachers, and some fellow students. Encourage them to research the school and extracurricular activities that would interest them. Remind them that no one at the new school will have any preconceived notions about them, so they can effortlessly change their activities and style.
You can also ease the transition by talking with a guidance counselor at the new school ahead of the move. The counselor can advise you on whether your teen will need to catch up in the new school or whether they will be ahead of the class.
Help Maintain Old Friendships
One of the most traumatic aspects of a move is the loss of friendships, especially if you are moving out of the school district. Help your teen plan a going-away party for their friends.
If your new home is within driving distance, encourage your teen to invite their old friends over to pizza on the night of the move. Also, facilitate get-togethers between your teen and their old friends regularly.
Encourage Acceptance of Invitations
Encourage your teen to accept invitations from other teens to participate in activities, even if they aren’t necessarily their favorite activities. They will meet and get to know new people at each event.
If your teen seems depressed or anxious for a long time, seek help from a mental health professional, especially if your teen has a history of emotional challenges. Peer support groups and mental health hotlines can also be helpful.
With planning and sensitivity, you can help your teen adjust to the move and develop a positive outlook afterward.
Our professional movers can take care of the details of your move so that you can spend more time meeting your teen’s needs. Contact us today.