A move is difficult enough for most of us, but even more so for a teen who is already experiencing his or her age-related issues. Add on a move, and their life just became a whole lot more complicated. Leaving behind friends, moving to a new school and a new neighborhood is especially hard on this age group. But with these tips on adjusting to a new school, help with making new friends and getting to know their new neighborhood will help them transition a little more easily.
Suggest They Buy a Journal
Or if you think it will be accepted, purchase one for them. A "moving journal" is a great place for your son or daughter to express how they're feeling about this major change. It's also a way for them to capture the moment, add in pictures of their friends, neighborhood, and home. 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 teenagers in your family 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 make them feel like a part of the decision.
Share the Moving Details
Once you've decided on a home, get 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 will also help once you've moved, giving your son or daughter a project to work on.
Help Them Research Their New Community
Suggest they research their new city or town. Ask them to find specific information that will be relevant to your family; where is the local recreation facility or what is the name of the ball team and when is registration?
Buy Them a Scrapbook
So they can have friends, teachers or coaches write a note and provide e-mail addresses, birthdays, etc., so they can stay in touch.
Have Your Teen With You When You Register Them for School
Suggest you take a tour of the new school. Research clubs and teams that they can join and if you're moving before the school year begins, sign them up for a summer club or team so when they do begin school, they will already recognize some friendly faces.
Ask Your Teen How They'd Like to Say Goodbye to Their Friends
Do they want a party or 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, games, things to keep them entertained on the way to the new home. It can also include maps of the new neighborhood, travel guides to the new city, lists of clubs and recreation facilities and addresses of friends to whom they can 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; clothes, books, personal things they can't live without.
Give Them a List of Tasks to Complete
Tasks such as packing their room, helping out with 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 to the move.
Suggest that they also check out their own tips for dealing with a move.