The Moving Process with Teens
Moving to a new home is difficult on almost every member of a family. From the dog and cat to the children and parents there is a great deal of adjustment and nervousness around “moving away”. This is just as true about teenagers as it is about toddlers, and parents must never forget that a move may be devastating to their teenage children.
This is the reason it is crucial to establish good communication
and open dialogues about the moving process with all members
of the family. While teenagers may have a universal reputation
as being moody or difficult to speak with, it is still important
that a parent or guardian ask them about their feelings towards
moving to a new home.
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Just like their younger siblings, teens may feel a loss of control over their life due to the way a move is being handled, which can cause bad behaviors or upsetting moments. Such issues can be reduced or eliminated simply by involving all children in a household in the moving process.
For example, it is a good idea to view potential new homes with as many members of the family as possible. If this cannot occur it is a good idea to ask teenagers to list the things that are important to them in a house, especially where their bedroom is concerned. Asking for “grown up” and realistic input allows the teen to understand that their concerns are being taken seriously and that parents or guardians are hoping to provide them with a room that meets their needs as well as their wishes.
When a new home is chosen it is then a good idea to allow the teenager to have a great deal of control in the decoration of the space. While some limitations may be imposed, it is certainly realistic to let them choose paint colors, wall art, linens and window dressings among other things. It also gives the teenager something to really look forward to upon arrival in the new location.
When a home is selected it also means a new school, and it is a good idea to take the teen along when they will be registered in a school. This also allows them to have a tour and get a good idea of what sort of activities or sporting teams they will be able to join or participate in. This also reduces some of the fear and mystery around the unknown school and space and may even present an opportunity for the beginning of new friendships.
When packing and preparing for the move it is important to ask the teenager to be as responsible for their possessions as is possible. Request that they sort through their clothing, eliminating things they no longer wear and placing them in a container for donation. Additionally, they can usually handle packing many of their possessions, but it is still a good idea to do this with them in order to reduce any upset or frustration around the process.
In the weeks leading up to the move it is a good idea to offer a teenager the chance to say an “official” goodbye to their friends. This could mean a party at home or even a night out with friends. Planning such a party can be a good distraction and excellent way to spend some last memorable moments with friends.
Finally, when moving day arrives, many teenagers are excellent
at assisting with such important tasks as minding younger siblings,
loading lightweight and delicate items into a car, or taking
care of family pets.