Announcing to a happily settled family that they will soon be moving to another state is not always an enjoyable part of parenting, but for those with teenagers, it can be an especially difficult conversation. In addition to a close circle of friends, many teens also have part-time jobs and extracurricular activities that make it emotionally difficult for them to even consider moving away. If you have teenage children and are considering a move to another state or have recently found out that a move is required for work, health or personal reasons, the following strategies can help you find positive solutions to this dilemma.
Help your child understand the reasons behind the move
When being told of an impending move, the normal first reaction of most teenagers is to view the move as an attack on them, specifically, and nothing more. Even teens who usually conduct themselves with maturity will likely focus only on the negative aspects of the move and how it will wreak havoc in their lives.
To help your child see beyond how the move will affect them, take time to discuss the move privately with your child and explain the actual reasons why you must do it along with the benefits the move will offer to the entire family, such as more income, better climate or being closer to extended family members. While this information will not instantly sway their opinion, it will give them a more family-centric point of view and make it easier for them to understand why the move is necessary.
Offer your teen a chance to learn more about the new area
In addition to not wanting to leave behind their current friends and school, teens often fear the unknown aspects of the move, such as what the new school and community will be like, what the other kids are like and what opportunities are there for them. If you sense that this may be the case for your child, attempt to arrange for a pre-move visit to the town where you are planning to move, if it is possible to do so.
If time or budget considerations prevent a physical visit, make it a point to spend time exploring the area via the web. Most communities, school districts and even housing complexes post a substantial amount of information online, including videos and pictures. In addition, subscribing to the local newspapers and joining social media groups in the area can provide interaction help to allay your child's fears and make them more comfortable with the idea of moving.
Consider suitable alternatives
If your child has valid reasons for not wanting to move and has demonstrated the ability to act responsibly in the past, consider letting them know that you are open to discussing suitable alternatives. If there are trusted family friends or relatives in the area where you currently live, it may be possible to arrange for your child to stay with them for a few months after the remainder of the family has moved away. A caring grandparent, aunt, uncle or older sibling are good choices for this type of arrangement, but make sure that your child understands that this is only a possibility until all arrangements and details have been successfully considered and dealt with.
Before offering final approval for this type of arrangement, make sure that you have or can arrange a satisfactory plan for your teen after the move, including the following:
- how the teen's living costs will be handled, including clothing and spending money
- how the teen's medical care will be handled, including preparation of any legal documents required for non-parental relatives to authorize emergency medical care
- how transportation needs will be handled for school, work and extracurricular activities
- how any discipline issues will be handled in your physical absence
- how to ensure frequent family contact, including both in-person visits and daily voice and messaging
Now that you know how to get your teen on board with the move, check out a site like http://www.movewithunited.com to contact a moving company that can help you transport your belongings to your new home.