Tips for Moving with Teenagers
Discuss the Move Openly with Them
Some teenagers can feel as though you’re uprooting their entire life by moving to a new home without any consideration for what they want. If you’re moving to a new neighbourhood that involves transferring to a new school, feelings of fear, anxiety, resentment and anger may also arise in some teens.
Talk to your kids about the reasons why you’re moving house and involve them in the process as much as possible. Ask them to be honest about their feelings about the move and encourage them to participate in the planning stages.
Delegate Moving Responsibilities
Give your teenager certain responsibilities to look after as part of the moving process. For example, you may delegate responsibility for packing up their own bedroom and personal belongings, along with unpacking and decorating their room in the new house.
If there are a couple of different bedrooms to choose from, let your teenager choose their preferred room. Then involve them with planning out how furniture will fit in and how it will look once the furniture arrives in the moving truck.
Familiarise the Family with the New Area
Spend some time familiarising the family with the new neighbourhood. If there are shopping malls, clubs, parks, or beaches nearby, take some time to visit those locations.
If your house move involves switching the kids into a new school, arrange for an orientation day. Most school administrators will be happy to allow new students to visit the school grounds during arranged visits to familiarise themselves with the grounds, buildings and surrounding ovals or sporting facilities. When teenagers recognise certain areas around the school grounds, their first day will seem a little less daunting.
If your teen is involved with after-school activities, such as sports or clubs, talk about whether they’ll still be able to participate in those after the move. If you’re moving nearby it may still be possible for your teen to attend the same activities after school.
However, if your new home is further away, discuss possibilities for transport to and from the venue. Alternatively, there may be options to join in with new sporting clubs or events in the new area that will increase their circle of friends.
Encourage Social Contact
Your teenager may feel as though they’ll never see their friends again once they move to the new home. Encourage social contact with those friends your teen wants to stay in contact with after the move. Let your kids know that it’s fine to invite other kids over to visit from time to time. Older teens may already have a mobile phone or social media accounts, so it’s likely they’ll maintain a level of contact anyway.
Moving with kids is challenging for most parents, but there are plenty of little things you can do to make it easier for them to cope with the changes. Keep your teenager involved with the process and let them know their feelings and opinions are valid within your family. You’ll all find it easier to adjust once moving day is over and done with.