1. Let them know that you understand their pain. By being honest and open about your feelings and emotions, you help them understand that moving is a part of life, and can turn out to be a positive experience.
2. Listen to their fears. Answer all their questions and be calm. Your teen will be angry for this perceived disruption in his or her life. If you let them know that you are on their side, that they are part of a team and you understand their sorrow.
3. Be sure that your teens know that there are alternative means of keeping in touch with their friends. Technology is a wonderful thing, and e-mail, web cams, net phones and regular long-distance phone service will help pick up the slack.
4. Plan a going-away party with your teen’s special friends. Take plenty of pictures and put together a scrapbook with the photos.
5. Include him or her in your moving plans. If it is feasible, have them accompany you when you go house hunting. A task such as researching area schools, recreation and activities can be given to the Internet-savvy teen. He or she can also telephone different places for information, and contact area schools in order to find what they feel is the best fit.
6. If a teen has a special interest or talent, such as art or music lessons let them find a new instructor or resource prior to moving. They can ask for referrals from their present teacher or school, and make a first contact before leaving. That way, no vital time is lost after moving finding an instructor your teen is comfortable bonding with.
7. Let your teen “scout” the new area before moving so he or she will be able to spot local fashion trends, possible teen hangouts and activities and find out deadlines for signing up for sports teams and other groups.
8. If possible, schedule your move during the summer months so your teen won’t have to transfer to a new school in the middle of the school year. If this isn’t feasible, meet with the school’s principal or guidance counselor to help ease the transition.
By working as a team, understanding and listening to your teen’s concerns, and anticipating needs before they become problems, moving can become a learning experience rather than a headache.