Moving with teens can be quite a challenge. They’re already established in school with lifelong friendships developed, and the thought of moving away from that might not sit well with most teens.
There are certain things you’ll need to be cognizant of and things you can do to help your teen cope with the move.
Tip 1. Address Major Life Changes & Challenges
As if being a teenager isn’t hard enough with all of the physical and emotional changes you go through, moving with teens can often compound those challenges.
Significant life changes, like moving, can be big stressors for teens. In their already insecure state, vulnerable teens can be especially prone to depression or agitation. Teach your teen how to cope with major life events – it’ll come in handy later in life, plus it provides a good bonding experience. If you sense their problems are deeper than you can handle and don’t improve over time, consider counseling as an outlet for your teen.
This can be tricky, especially if your teen will have to start at a new school during the middle of the year. If at all possible, try to coordinate your move so that it takes place during the summer. Allowing your teen to close out the school year and start the new chapter at the beginning of the school year will make the move cleaner.
If you’re going to wait until school is over, try and leave closer to the end of the summer. That way, your teen will have one last summer to spend with their friends before moving away.
Teens develop powerful bonds with their friends. These are the people they spend all day at school with and hang out with any chance they get. There’s going to be nothing easy about telling your teen they’re moving away from their friends.
This will, without question, be the most challenging thing for you and your teen to get through. Make sure you give your teen plenty of time leading up to the move to hang out with their friends. Have them invite their friends over to help with the packing and even the moving process. As things get busy, this will ensure your teen gets to spend as much time as possible with their friends right up until you pull out of the driveway.
Tip 2. Get Teens Involved in the Process
Your teen might not be excited to learn they’re moving, but including them in the process can certainly help smooth things over. Take them house hunting with you. Listen to some of the things they like or don’t like about certain houses or neighborhoods. Of course, you’re the ultimate decision maker, but hearing them out can certainly make moving with teens easier on you, the parents, too.
Look for fun spaces at the new house that they might not have at the current house. Things like a basement recreation room or home theater are a couple of spaces that would surely get your teens excited about a new house.
Narrow your search to a couple of neighborhoods. Talk to them about the schools there and get their thoughts. Have you made an offer? Tell them about the next steps. They’ll have a clear understanding that the house they might have already fallen in love with isn’t quite yours yet.
Tip 3. Make it Fun
Leaving their friends won’t be easy – that’s probably the most challenging part about moving with teens. How can you help make the transition a little more fun? Throw a going away party with their friends.
Consider a theme party where everyone dresses up. Set up a photo station at the party. Gather some fun props so the teens can really have fun with it.
Pro Tip: Invest in a Polaroid camera for instant photo gratification for your teen and their friends. Bonus points: Get one that makes duplicate copies of the photo. That way, your teens’ friends can keep one, and they can put the other in a memories photo album. Their friends can also write messages by their photos for a perfect way to capture the last hurrah.
Serve your teen’s favorite foods at the party. Try to make it all about them, making them feel loved by both you and their friends. While they still might not be happy about the move, they’ll certainly be ecstatic at the effort you put into throwing a party just for them.
Tip 4. Set Their Room Up First
When you get to the new house, there will be no shortage of things to unpack and organize. You might be motivated to get the kitchen organized so you can cook the first family meal at the new house. More importantly, focus on your kids and teens instead.
Set up your teen’s room first. The simple act of you taking the time to focus on their room will help make moving with your teen that much easier.
Encourage them to think about redecorating. Make a Pinterest board together with inspiration. Let your teen pick their paint color and spend a weekend painting. Help them pick out new bedding. Incorporate some fun lighting or unique pieces that speak to their personality. Anything you can do to get them excited about their new room will ease the transition of the move.
Helping Your Teen Adjust
The move is over, and your teen’s new room is freshly decorated, but you’re not out of the woods yet. Those are just the first hurdles in moving with teens. To help them continue to adjust, help get your teen involved in activities in your new city.
Are they into sports? Get them on a team right away. Athletics are a great way for teens to make friends as they spend so much time with their teammates. More of a fine arts kid? Look into local music, theater, and art opportunities as ways for them to make new friends while doing something they love. Chances are, they’ll have a class or two at school with these kids who can introduce them to others.
If your new neighbors also have teens, talk to them about carpooling to school. Even a few minutes in the car together each day can be an excellent way for your teen to make a friend.
Most importantly, keep the communication lines open. Make sure you check in at least weekly with your teen. Ask them about school, extracurriculars, and just how things are going in general. It’s a great relationship builder for you and your teen. It’ll help you know exactly how they feel and how you can help with the ongoing transition of moving with teens.
Colonial Van Lines can help ensure a smooth move for the whole family and will help you ensure a smooth transition for your teen. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to get a free quote now!