Moving creates big changes for every member of your family. Because of the dilemmas and dramas that often occur during the teen years, teenagers may have a challenging time coping with big changes such as relocating from one home to another. Here are some tips to help your teenagers with the transition and to help yourself have a better experience.
Allow Teens to Control Part of the Move
One thing that teens may struggle with during a move is a feeling of powerlessness. Teens naturally try to assert their independence and it may upset them to realize they have to move even if they don’t want to do so. Try to help teens avoid those feelings and instead feel empowered by giving them control over some parts of the process.
What you let teens take control of during the move depends on what works best for your family dynamic. Some parents may involve teens in choosing the new family home. Others find that allowing teens to have first choice of rooms in a new home can work. Allowing them to paint the walls of their new room any way they want can be exciting for young people, too.
You may also offer them some rewards for taking on this major change in their lives. This can be anything from new clothes for their new closet to heaping praise on them for how maturely they handled the move. Simply giving them a gift card to spend decorating their new room can be a thrill for some teens and help them feel more like an adult.
Discuss the Move In Depth With Teens
If you have younger children, you may not feel the need to explain to them the reasons for a move. However, with teenagers, they will probably be curious, and older kids and teens can usually handle the more complex reasons that families often choose to relocate. If your teenagers are struggling with accepting the move, leveling with them is especially important.
You may be surprised at how fast teenagers change their tune and get behind a move when they get all the facts. Whether it’s a happy reason related to your career or a tough situation such as no longer being able to afford to live in the house you’re currently in, teens will probably want to know the true reasons for a move.
Really listen to their feelings about the move, too. Before teens will want to hear your reasons for the move, they need to feel they can express themselves and be understood. Ask open-ended questions. Acknowledge and validate even the most difficult feelings your teens may have, so you can move forward to discussing why the move is a necessity.
Ask for Help During the Move
Teenagers can also be a big help to you during the move. Enlist their help in the ways you need it most. They can be fully responsible for packing their own rooms, labeling their boxes and unpacking their belongings in your new home. They may also help with deciding which items you want to keep and what you can leave behind during the move.
Teenagers may also help younger siblings. They may set a good example by packing their own rooms. Simply by showcasing a positive attitude about the move around younger siblings, teenagers have the power to help the process go smoothly for the whole family.
Offer Help With Adjusting to a New City
If you’re moving to a new city, your teenagers may be anxious about leaving friends behind. Offer ways to make new friends, such as paying for them to take classes in things that interest them. They may also enroll in sport programs or go to a youth group at church. Knowing they’ll be able to make friends in their new city can be a big help.
Finally, keep in mind that you probably know your teenagers better than anyone. Trust yourself to make the right moving choices for your family.
Contact Island Movers for help with all aspects of your move. We can help the process go more smoothly, which can make your move less stressful for every member of the family.