The teen years are some of the most challenging yet important years of an adolescent’s life. It’s a time of transition and self-discovery as they explore their identity and figure out who they are or want to be. During this time, uprooting a teenager and moving them to a new town can be incredibly difficult as it forces them to make new friends and form a new community.
Fortunately, though, teens are pretty resilient and can quickly settle into a new school with just a few proactive steps. This post is part of the series on teen objections called Alpine Academy Utah Complaints and will explore some of the things that parents can do to encourage their teenagers and make their transition into a new town smoother. Although it may seem daunting at first, moving can be an excellent learning experience that propels their growth.
Encourage Teens to Take Up Extracurriculars
By the time children are teenagers, they usually have set friend groups that make it difficult for new students to find a community. This is especially true if a new student is particularly shy. However, encouraging a teen to try new things can push them to make new friends. If they try out for extracurricular activities, sports, or clubs, they can get involved in the community.
The more friends they make, the more comfortable they’ll feel living in a new town and the sooner they’ll settle into their new school. If they enjoyed any extracurricular activities at their old school, getting involved in a new town will also help restore a sense of normalcy after the move.
Encourage Teens to Be Open and Honest
Moving can be incredibly stressful for teens. They may experience depression or anxiety over leaving their friends, activities, and life behind. Without strong emotional ties or social connections in a new community, they may also feel isolated. It’s important to speak directly and honestly with teens after a major move, especially if they are struggling in the first few weeks.
It can be difficult for teens to talk openly with their parents, but there are some things that can be done to encourage communication. Setting aside regular times for conversation, such as at the dinner table, during a walk, or before bed creates an environment where a teen can feel comfortable speaking openly without judgment.
Help Teens Stay Connected with Old Friends
The less cut-off a teen feels, the easier the move will be. Fortunately, modern technology means teens no longer have to say goodbye to their old friends. Helping a teen stay in touch with their old classmates and friends after moving will help elevate some of their stress and loneliness. Let them call or text as much as they like (within reason) and set up meetups if possible.
It’s important to treat teenagers like adults. They are old enough to think for themselves and make their own connections. Yet, it’s just as important to push them to try new things and make new friends after a move. Encouraging them to be open and honest, try out for extracurriculars, and stay in touch with their old friends will ease the transition and make moving far less stressful.