Moving to a new home can be hard on every family member, but, often, teenagers take it the hardest. Relocating to a new city will probably cause World War III, but even moving across town can be difficult. Your teen could be attached to the home because it’s where they grew up and they have friends in the neighborhood.
Emotions will be running high, but avoiding the conversation may only make matters worse. Here are a few helpful tips and things to keep in mind before discussing the move with your teen.
Understanding the Teen Angst Behind a Move
During our teen years our peers are pivotal. Their social circle is their world. When those ties get pulled loose, everything can start unraveling in their minds.
The first thing that comes to mind when a teen has to move is the thought of having to make new friends. It’s a significant source of stress, especially when they’ve already created close bonds with other kids. The uncertainty of finding a new clique and trying to fit in can be overwhelming.
Loss of control is another big factor. Your teen will naturally feel like important decisions are being made for them and they have no control over what’s happening.
Breaking the News That You’re Moving
Very few kids like to hear that they’re moving. Parents have to prepare for backlash, anger and heightened emotions when they break the news that the family is moving.
Have the conversation ASAP. Having the conversation sooner rather than later will give your teen more time to prepare and make the transition. They may also feel betrayed if you wait to talk to them long after the decision has already been made.
Acknowledge that they’re upset and that you understand. The last thing you want is for your teen to think that you don’t care how they feel. This will compound their negative feelings and make your kid believe they’re justified in thinking that you don’t care about them.
Be prepared with a list of benefits. Let your teen know how the move benefits them in particular. Examples include getting their own room, the family income increasing, and better college opportunities. If they known there’s something in it for them, they’re less likely to complain.
Encourage them to express their feelings. This is an opportunity for you and your teen to open up and have a frank discussion. Their knee jerk reaction may be anger, but that’s fueled by many other thoughts and emotions. It can also help if you open up and let your teen know that you’re nervous about the move too.
Answer questions honestly. Your teen will probably have a lot of questions about why you’re moving, where you’re moving and when. Be frank and honest with them about the situation.
End the conversation by letting your teen know that you want to keep them in the loop. This will help them feel like that are a part of the process and have some sort of control.
Helping Your Teen Cope During the Move
Even though your teen may be upset about the thought of moving, there are things you can do to soften the blow.
- Give them time to spend time with friends.
- Help them figure out how to stay in contact with friends after the move.
- Allow them to make choices about moving and packing their own things.
- Let them take the reins when it comes to decorating their new room.
- Plan a trip together to the new home/city so they can explore before the move.
- Help them find groups and organizations that they can join in the new city or their new school.
- Allow them to help make decisions about where they will go to school and the activities they will participate in.
It’s also important that you maintain the role of the authority figure. Giving in to their guilt trips will only make the move miserable for everyone. Be clear that you empathize with them, but that, at the end of the day, you’re making decisions that are best for the entire family.
Ease some of the stress and spend more quality time together before the move by letting Square Cow Movers take care of the packing, loading and transport. Whether you’re moving across Texas or to Denver, our team of experts can make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone. Give us a call or contact us online to learn how we can help.