Moving house at any stage of your life is a stressful undertaking. If you happen to be moving when you have kids in the mix, then you will reach a whole new level of stress!
Most teenagers will find moving house an extremely unattractive proposition; changing houses, schools and friends is a huge deal to a teenager who probably will feel like their whole world is ending.
Try the following tips to make the transition a little easier to all involved.
Be open and honest about moving house
From the outset, honesty is always going to be the best policy when dealing with a teenager. You may be worried how they are going to react when given the news that they are moving house, though keeping it from them will only make it worse.
Teens are old enough to be part of a discussion about why it is necessary to relocate and the pros and cons for doing so. Knowing the real reason why it is necessary may help them deal with it, especially if it’s something they’re not keen on doing. Encourage your teen to be honest about their feelings on moving and share your feelings too, they may be surprised to know that you feel the same way! Making new friends and trying to fit into a new social circle is difficult at any age so it may be helpful for them to realise they’re not going through it all alone.
Involve your teen in decisions about moving house
Letting your teen feel like they are a part of the decision making process and that their opinion matters will do a world of good. Although ultimately the big decisions may be out of their hands, they can certainly have some input and know that their point of view has been considered.
They are probably experiencing a huge amount of frustration due to the lack of control over their own lives so to be included and listened to will help them to accept the changes coming. Let them help you when searching for a new house or choosing your removalist – most teens are highly proficient at searching online, and they may actually end up helping you more than you think!
Enable them to keep in touch with old friends
For most teens, their social circle is a huge part of their lives. A lot of the angst of moving will because they have to leave behind their friends.
Luckily with today’s technology, it’s easier to keep in touch than ever before. Encourage your teen to keep in contact with their friends as they make the move to their new home and start making new friends. Their old friends will still provide a valuable support network and can be easily contacted by Facebook, Skype, Messenger apps, and email. Providing your teen with their own mobile phone or computer for this task will no doubt be greatly appreciated by them.
Research your new town/city together
There’s certainly no need to be all pessimistic about moving house. Often it is an exciting time and the change may be looked forward to.
Whether your teen is all for the move or is more reticent about their feelings on it, a nice way to spend some time together is to do some research online together about your new home town. Check out where your local library, shops, cinemas and parks are. Exploring all of these are a great way of integrating into your new community. Your teen may like to look for local skate parks or hip cafes / bookshops which should be easily found on popular websites. Doing this together may encourage your teen to open up a bit more about the way they are feeling.
Keep busy, busy, busy!
By the time moving day arrives, when you are moving with kids, you may be ready to tear your hair out. It is certainly a day when you will want to be ultra organised and make sure everyone knows what they are meant to be doing.
Don’t leave your teen standing on the sidelines, get them involved with helping you out!
If you are moving with a shipping container, maybe they can help load it up, or if they have younger siblings, maybe they can be in charge of entertaining them while the removalists are at work. Keeping your teen busy on what is probably a difficult day for them will do them much better than moping about.
As all parents know, all kids are different, and certainly all teens are different. Some will look forward to moving, others will hate the prospect. Just remember, whatever their outlook, they will require support and understanding from you to get through a difficult and stressful time. With a positive outlook, hopefully everyone comes out the other end of the move happy and ready to settle into their new home.
Have you moved with kids or a teenager? SHARE with us in the comments below.
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