Moving with tweens and teens can be tough – and dramatic! (Watch the above clip for a good laugh.) However, moving a tween/teen to a new place for the first time is emotionally and socially tough on them. Leaving familiar faces and surroundings and thinking about starting new can be scary. Here are some tips on what you can do as a parent to help make the transition to a new life easier on your tween/teen.
The minute moving starts to seem like a possibility, mention it! Looking for new jobs in a different city or state? Let your tween/teen know that this might mean relocating. Maybe it won’t happen, but if it does it will make the actual announcement easier. When the possibility becomes a reality let them know. The longer your tween/teen has to process the idea of moving the easier it can be.
Once you know where you’re moving take a family trip to visit. Drive past the school, check out the local mall, try a new restaurant. Visit spots you feel would interest your tween/teen to get him or her excited about their new location.
Find out if your tween/teen is interested in accompanying you to visit prospective houses or apartment complexes. If the idea of bringing them along is stressful, do it House Hunter’s style – bring them along to your top three choices. This will help your tween/teen visualize their next living space and get excited about your new home. Once your place is picked, allow them to choose colors or how they will decorate. If you can swing it in the budget, suggest picking out a new bed comforter to help make the new space exciting and refreshing.
Once you know where you’re moving, find information on your tween/teen’s current activities in the new town. Many families choose to move their family in the summer when school is not in session, but most fall activities register during the summer. Don’t risk your tween/teen missing out. Whether it’s dance, sports, or youth group, find out what group or team be the best fit. Get in touch with the teachers or coaches of that activity – many are willing to let your tween/teen participate for a session or practice which will help take out the awkward “first day” experience and give them the opportunity to meet some people before being put into a new sea of faces at school.
Take a tour of the school that they will be attending. This is going along the theme of familiarity. The more familiar your tween/teen is with their new surroundings, the less scary it will be.
If you’re moving a teen (13 or older) and have not permitted it yet, consider allowing them to start a Facebook page which you can monitor closely. It’s an easy way for your tween/teen to keep in touch with old friends and connect with new ones. They can share photos, say a quick hello, and see what’s going on in their old down. Don’t feel like you have the time to correctly monitor this? Check out software’s like SocialGuard that help you monitor activities.
Overall, this is most important in your tween/teen’s transition to their new home. It’s not easy to pick up and leave friends, teams, and other activities behind. Adjustment time will be different for each individual. Expect to be blamed and don’t expect your tweens/teens to fix a problematic situation on their own. Be willing to listen and problem solve for as long as it takes for your tween/teen to feel comfortable. Have questions about moving your family? Contact Andrews!