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What tips can you give to take the pain out of a teen move?

Cookies & Milk Moving is a difficult transition for anyone, let alone a teenager who is already grappling with the acne, voice changes, teen love and peer pressure.

Here are some savvy steps parents can take to help teenagers make a move with the least amount of stress.
  • Good timing can be everything.

  • Ask your teens for input on upcoming important events. If possible, plan the move to coincide with a natural transition like the end of soccer season or after the violin recital.
  • Include the teen in the home search.

  • Tour schools, parks and athletic centers while house hunting. Your home choice could center around your teens' activities. Bring teens along on house-hunting trips so they can help choose the next home and, more importantly, so they can see how the locals dress and get a feel for the school and recreation programs.
  • Collect as much information as possible.

  • Arrange for a copy of the school newspaper to check activities, sports, and cultural programs. Involve them in the moving and resettling plans. Ask them to navigate the Internet and collect information about the new town, schools, houses, maps – and share what they find.
  • Visit the new school to observe how students dress.

  • Remember, it is important to teens to be fashionable. Consider checking out the malls if a quick wardrobe update is in order and in the budget.
  • Investigate your new area.

  • Zero in on places and things of special interest to your children (such as ice rinks, malls, ball fields, bike paths).
  • Do some pre-move legwork.

  • Contact the new school for timely information on the transfer of credits and registration dates as well as deadlines for joining team sports, dramatics, etc.
  • Keep in touch with friends.

  • Reassure the kids they will be able to call and visit their old friends. Arrange a return visit to give the teen something to look forward to.
  • Be empathetic.

  • It’s tough to be uprooted in the teen years. Listen to your child’s concerns and talk them over. Be understanding, and share your own feelings. The whole family may be a bit sad, but be positive about new opportunities and a fresh start. Communicate frequently about feelings, and give your teens control over their stuff, if possible.
  • Maintain family rituals and structure.

  • Moving poses special challenges for ever-vulnerable teenagers. Typically, the further along in high school a teen is, the more difficult the move. When a friend moves away, those left behind suffer a loss, but they still have each other, familiar routines and places and a common culture. Not so for the teen who relocates. That teen loses most support systems – except the family – at a time when the teen is often trying to become more independent of the family. Since many teens in the new town will have already established long-term relationships with their peers, a new teen moving into the area may find it hard to make friends. This is especially true if the newcomer is not at his or her best – grieving the loss of the old life, perhaps, or depressed or angry about the move. Take the opportunity to strengthen family ties by encouraging family members to support each other through continued family rituals and structure.
Enlist the support of professionals who can help you and your family achieve the best move possible. Call or e-mail us or click on "Ask Your Own Questions."
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STRESS BUSTERS How To Minimize The Worries Of Moving
PETS TO GO Plan A Safe, Comfortable Move For Your Pets
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SMOOTH A Dozen Ways To Plan The Perfect Relocation
LINGO 101 Money-Saving Glossary To Key Moving Terms
FAMILY MOVE Tips For House Hunting With The Kids
TIMING Seven Buying And Selling Secrets To Know Before You Relocate
INSPECTIONS Smart Strategies To Make A Home Inspection Work For You
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