A move can be a challenging thing for a family, but it can be especially hard for teenagers. Teens may be thinking I feel scared. Will I make new friends? Will I get bullied at my new school? However, for some teens, a move may be a fresh start.
Communicate with them beforehand and allow them to feel like they have a voice. Here are some tips to help them feel prepared and make it a smoother transition.
- Prepare Them Advance: Get them involved in the process ahead of time whether it’s house hunting, looking at nearby schools, or picking out things for the new home. It’s a big change for them, too and it’s always easier when everyone is on the same page.
- Try to Give Them Consistency: Keeping some familiar things can help. Can they stay in the same school? Can you still have Sunday family dinners? Maybe they can’t keep the same after-school job, but they can continue working. Consider things that will give some consistency.
- Help Them Build New Friendships: Whether it’s through their new school or community involvement, help your teen get comfortable with new connections. Encourage them to keep up with their old friends but having someone to spend time with and laugh in the halls with can make all the difference.
- Be Positive but Affirm Their Concerns: Try to give your Teen a positive outlook on the move. Help them feel the excitement and possibility of their new normal but validate their concerns and struggle with it all. It’s ok for them to feel a little scared. Letting them know it’s okay to feel scared is an important way for them to feel heard and understood.
Visit the Berks Teens website for additional teen resources.
By Genesis Santiago
Youth and Health Resource Center Coordinator for Berks Teens