The Struggle is Real!
The most important people in your teen’s life are their friends. So, when you ask them to move and leave them behind, you ask them to leave behind a part of themselves as well. However, there are ways you can make the move less stressful on your son or daughter. Here’s a look at some ways in which you can help your teen cope with the big move.
Why Teens Struggle
Teens are faced with a plethora of social and psychological issues compared to younger children and adults. As such, teens are commonly confused about who they are as people — and the prospect of a big move only adds to this uncertainty. Because of this transitional period in their lives, teens are more likely to resist a move, as well as be more vocal about the situation.
When teens hear their family is moving, the first concern they typically raise is leaving behind their friends, and the prospect of trying to make new ones may add undue stress, as many teenagers thrive off routine and predictably. Likewise, so much changes in teens’ formative years — their bodies, voices, clothes and responsibilities — that a measure of predictability is key for their growth as people.
Do’s and Don’ts
Because of all these changes, a move can throw off their whole world. However, minimizing the hardships of relocation isn’t necessarily the best course of action. Instead, address the concerns you have over the move, as this will help your teen do the same. Don’t assume your teen is upset or unhappy with the move, either.
While some teens are unhappy when they must move, others may be excited about a new start. If your teen is upset, never let them make you feel guilty. While apologies may come in the future, many teens will understand the necessity for the move, even if they are unhappy about it. Find and share as much as you can about your new hometown. The less your teen knows about their new destination, the more stress they will have about moving.
Earn Their Trust
One way teens can feel in control of the situation is the trust you give them. For instance, let your teen explore their new home on their own if they have their driver’s license. If not, help them acquire their driver’s permit for greater independence. Driving-tests.org is a great place for practice tests and online prep if they haven’t passed their written exam.
While some teens will gravitate to certain coping mechanisms leading up to the move, there are some they may not have considered. Suggest they keep a journal. Sometimes the written word can reveal thoughts and feelings a person didn’t even know they had, which can shed light on an emotional situation and promote understanding. Once you have moved, take your teen with you when you register them for school. Let them be part of the process as much as they want, and encourage them to take control of their new life.
Lastly, give your teen a list of jobs and let them know you’re relying on them. When they know you need their help as much as they need you, they’ll likely show more support and initiative.