A move is difficult enough for most of us, but even more so for a teen. They're likely already experiencing age-related issues. Add on the move, and their life just became a whole lot more stressful. They'll have to leave behind old friends and meet new friends, move and settle into a new school and a new neighborhood. And, that's especially hard on the teenage group. Read on to discover some tips that can help you help a teenager adjust to a new school, make new friends and get to know their new neighborhood. Make their transition a little easier by assisting them in managing stress and feeling included.
Suggest a Journal
If you think they'll accept this idea, purchase a journal for them. A "moving journal" can be an excellent place for your teenager to express how they're feeling about this significant change. It's also a way for them to capture the moment, add in pictures of their friends, neighborhood, and home, new and old. Suggest it as a kind of scrapbook that they can look back on when they're settled into their new home.
Get Their Input on the Move
If you're still looking for that perfect house, ask the teen for their input. Find out what they'd like, what kind of bedroom they would prefer and if possible, what they look for in a neighborhood. Getting their input early on in the process will help involve them and help them feel like they're part of the decision.
Share the Details of the Move
Once you've decided on a home, get the details, and share them with your family. Suggest that each member choose their room and think about the way they'd like their space to look. This tip will continue to help once you've moved because you'll give your son or daughter a project to work on.
Help Them Research The New Community
Suggest that they do some research about their new city or town. Ask them to find specific information that will be relevant to your family. Emphasize things such as: where is the local recreation facility? What is the name of the local team? When is the cut-off date for new student registration at the local school?
Buy Them a Scrapbook
Have old friends, teachers or coaches write a note and provide e-mail addresses, birthdays, etc. That'll help your teen stay in touch with their old friends. And, they'll be able to continue to use it post-move by adding information about new friends, teachers, and coaches so they can stay in touch with them too.
Bring Them When You Register Them for School
Suggest that they can join you and take a tour of the school. That'll help them research more about clubs and teams before they decide which they'd like to join. If you're moving before the school year begins, this tour can be an excellent time to sign them up for a summer club or team. That way, when they do start attending the new school, they will already recognize some friendly faces.
Ask Them How They'd Like to Say Goodbye
Do they want to host a party? Would they rather have a weekend get-together with a few friends? Find out, then help them plan it.
Suggest They Put Together a Moving Kit
The kit can contain magazines, books, or games. The kit can contain things that'll keep them entertained on the way to the new home. It can also include maps of the new neighborhood, travel guides about the new city, lists of clubs and recreation facilities and addresses of old friends to whom they'll be able to send postcards of their journey.
Ask Them to Pack an Essentials Kit
This kit can include essential items they'll need for the first few days in their new home. This kit can include things like clothes, books, and personal things they can't live without.
Give Them a List of Tasks to Complete
These can be tasks such as packing their room, helping out their younger siblings, helping in organizing a garage sale — whatever needs doing around the house will make them feel like part of the move. Providing a task list to each member of the family, no matter what their age, helps them feel like they're contributing.