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Getting Teens Settled into a New Community

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Moving with children is an enormous undertaking. But getting a teenager adjusted to a new community is an entirely different animal. Teens tend to be more resistant to change, especially when they are pulled from an environment in which they feel secure. Tearing them away from their comfort zone can result in a distrust -- one that may hinder their adjustment process after your move to a new town or city.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to prevent and/or minimize this resistance. By making unselfish plans and including your teenager(s) in the planning process, you can make sure everyone in the family is at ease with the decision to move. This should make the process of getting settled in a whole lot smoother.

Scheduling your move

As a parent of a teenager, you don't want to plan a move for the middle of the school year. This can sometimes result in poor school performance and a drastic drop in grades. Teens already have enough to worry about during the school year, so for this reason, you should try to schedule your move during the summer when classes aren't in session. This will give your child enough time to adjust to his/her new community get fully acclimated before classes start up again.

If possible, you should wait until your teen is out of secondary school to move. This way, you can make your big move at around the same time your teenager is moving away to university (if that is the case). Pulling a teen out of high school makes it tough for the child to adapt with great levels of success.

Keeping old friends and traditions

When you make a big move with a teen, it is important that you let the child keep in touch with friends from your old town or city. While it may not be healthy to allow your teen to dwell on the past, you should encourage him/her to use technology to keep contact with old friends. This can include phone calls, emails, texts and even social media. You can also invite some of your teen's old friends over to the new house once you're all settled in, or allow your child to meet up with them to catch up.

Since many teens equate their homes with a sort of comfort zone, you must establish your new home as a place that is secure like your old one. Maintaining annual traditions for holidays, birthdays and other events is a great way to show your kids that not everything has changed after your move. It is important to let your teen unpack and organize his/her own room, and it is just as crucial to actively involve all of your children in the moving process.

Settling in

The most significant step to officially settling into your new community is getting out there and learning about the area. So, after you have everything organized inside your new house, get out there and experience your surroundings!
  • Explore your new environment with your teen. Wander around the neighbourhood and take a walk. Get lost in your new town -- it's the best way to learn your way around, and that's especially important for teens.
  • Introduce yourselves to your new neighbours. Make some new friends and establish a foundation for your teen's comfort zone. This is important for emergencies, and your neighbours may end up being your best friends during your first few months in town.
  • Visit the schools. Since your teen will soon need to adjust to his/her new school, you might as well get a head start on familiarizing yourselves with the surroundings. Stopping by the school before your teen's first day of classes could benefit everyone involved, including your teen and his/her teachers.

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on January 19, 2015 - Moving Expert
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