Some teens have difficulty coping with the stress of a move because they don’t take good care of their bodies. Encourage your teen to eat well, get plenty of rest, and exercise. Help your teenager get involved in your new neighborhood or town. These steps will help them cope with the inevitable stress of moving. In addition, here are some other tips to ease the challenge of moving a teen:
- Find out about local teen groups.
- Suggest that she volunteers to help coach a young baseball team, help out at a nursing home, or get involved in some other activity that gives them responsibility and makes them feel needed. Sometimes teens are more open to responsibilities outside the home than in the home.
- Encourage her to try the sports that are most popular in your new area as well as getting into old favorites.
- Build on shared interests with your teen and discover together what makes your new home town or state unique. It doesn’t matter whether the event is a sporting event, a science or natural history museum, or shopping. What matters is that you and your teen are doing something together.
- If your teen is Internet-savvy, make sure she gets her friend’s e-mail addresses. E-mailing is quick, easy, and a lot cheaper than a phone call.
- Budget to let your teen make a few phone calls to old friends.
- Letters from old friends help. Leave paper, envelopes, and stamps in his room. And remind your teenager that he will probably not receive many letters if he doesn’t write many.
- Start planning to bring a friend to visit or to send your teen back to visit after a few months.
When you announce your plans to move, your teen may flatly refuse to move. Most, however, reluctantly come around after a while. But what if an older teenager remains serious about staying? Here are some suggestions.
First, discover why your child wants to stay behind. Some reasons are valid. Some are not. Your teen may simply want to stay with her friends. Or she may want to remain on an athletic team. Or assert independence and punish you for moving. Or gain more freedom. Or finish a special program at the school. Or graduate with her class.
If your teen is a high-school senior and feels strongly that he has valid reasons for wanting to stay at his old school, discuss them. Don’t say “no” immediately; say you’ll listen. Along with your teenager, list all the options available. S/he can
- Move now.
- Finish the term and then join the family.
- Finish the school year at the old school.
- Complete high school before joining the family.
- Where would he live? With a relative or friend? In an apartment? In a residential hotel or YMCA?
- Is the teen really and mature enough to be emancipated?
- What will it cost? Is your teen ready to support himself or herself? Will your teen take a part-time job to help pay the extra bills?
As all the factors are considered, your teen may decide that moving on with the family is the best option—or not. In either case, the teen has participated in a major decision.