How to Help Teens Adjust to a New School

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Getting Teens Adjusted to a New School

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Moving is stressful for everyone, especially teenagers. Even though they may have more trouble adjusting to a new school and environment, there are plenty of ways you can help your child settle in effectively.

Why teens have trouble adjusting

When a family moves with a teenager, that child is being torn out of her comfort zone. The teenage years are some of the most important years of a child's life, so consistency plays a key role in establishing the framework for a successful adulthood. By moving, your teen may feel like she is being taken out of the environment she's grown to know and love. This is what makes the transition so difficult for teenagers.

Adults have an easier time adapting to circumstances, as do younger children. Teens tend to be more resistant when it comes to major changes like moving, as it forces them to face various social and psychological problems. For example, teenagers deal with issues of making friends and finding out who they really are throughout their years in junior high school and secondary education. Knowing they will have to experience this assimilation process again is fairly upsetting and understandably stressful. After your move, your son or daughter will need to find a way to fit in all over again, this time in a completely unknown environment.

How you can help

As a concerned parent, you're already a step ahead of the game. The fact that you care enough to seek advice on how to deal with your teen is a great starting point for helping your child adjust to a new school.
  • Try to schedule your move during the summer. Sometimes, moving during the school year can result in low grades and poor performance in school. Scheduling your relocation when classes aren't in session will give your teenager less to worry about during the transition, as well as providing your child with more time to get adjusted to the new home before classes start up again.
  • Keep your teen involved in the moving process. Give your teen tasks to complete involving the move, keeping him/her in the loop on important decisions to show that every opinion is valuable. Also, provide your child with any information you can about the new home, the new neighbourhood and the new school.
  • Listen. Stay attentive to your teen's concerns. Talk everything out with your child before the move, and be sure to revisit the conversation after the move is complete. Also, pay attention to your teen's grades after the move, as well as his socialization habits.
  • Be patient. Everybody adjusts to change at their own rate. Some teens may adapt quickly to a new environment while others may take awhile to let it grow on them.
  • Encourage your teen to get involved at school. It is extremely important to get your teenager involved at school as soon as possible. This way, he can make friends more easily and feel like a part of whatever team or club he decides to join. That sense of community is essential.
  • Give your teen space. While you should try to stay involved with your child's assimilation process, be sure to leave your teen some air to breathe. Again, those teenage years are a stressful time during which kids experience a multitude of changes. So, give your teen the space to grow.

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on November 20, 2014 - Moving Expert
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