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Talking to Teens About Moving

by Shelley Frost

Communication with your teen during the relocation process keeps him in the loop and allows you to stay aware of his feelings about the move. Keeping your teen informed about moving plans and how they will impact him is key to the communication process. Whether he resists the move or is open to the new surroundings, regular chats will keep him updated and help him feel included.

When to Talk

The initial discussion about moving is sometimes the most difficult, especially if you anticipate your teen will be upset. Tempting as it is to delay talking, sharing the news of the move as soon as possible gives your teen more time to deal with the information. He will have a chance to say goodbye to his friends and plan how he'll handle the move. He will also have more time to prepare and pack his things. Continued communication throughout the relocation process will help your teen deal with his emotions.

Details to Share

Your teen may have lots of questions about the upcoming move. Parenting and development website KidsHealth recommends sharing as many details as possible so your teen is prepared. This might include why you're moving, when the move will take place, where he will go to school and whether he can come back to visit old friends. If your family is relocating to a completely new area, give him some information on what he can expect in the new location, such as the climate, available activities and differences he should expect.

Getting Input

During a move, a teen may feel like he is giving up everything that is important to him and he has no choice in the matter. While he probably won't have the option to veto the move, you can give your teen some input. If you let him know early enough in the process, take him along during the house search. Let him help you pick potential neighborhoods and narrow down housing choices. If he'll have multiple school options, visit each one and let him weigh in on his favorite. You also have the option of letting him finish the school year at his current school if there is a trusted adult with whom he can stay. Talk to him about this option to determine whether it's something to pursue.

Communication Problems

Dealing with a teen who is upset about moving adds to the stress of the relocation. You can't make those negative feelings go away, but you can offer a compassionate ear to your teen. Share your own feelings of sadness or fear so your teen is more willing to talk with you. Letting your teen know you are there for him during the process can help him cope with this major life change.

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