It takes time for anybody to adjust after moving to a new neighborhood. For children and teenagers, however, the situation can prove especially challenging. Even if they realize it might be the best thing for the family or necessary for a job, leaving the security of the environment they know can bring about sadness or possibly anger.
Time usually does the trick, but there are things that can speed up the adjustment process. Here are a few to consider:
Get them involved in their new community.
Whether they were active in Girl Scouts, a church youth group, or a baseball league, sign them up as soon as possible again after moving. Granted, the people will be different, but seeing that the same types of activities are available will bring an air of familiarity and encourage engagement.
Give them some say-so.
When it feels like parents are calling all the shots, providing opportunity for input can give kids a voice. Let your daughter pick out the color of her new room. Take your son along to shop for that big screen TV you’ll put in the new den. Suggest they search the Internet for interesting restaurants the family can try together.
Encourage them to keep in touch with friends.
Letters, emails, phone calls, and (if feasible) visits allow kids to maintain relationships despite distance. Modern teenagers tend to be quite comfortable staying in contact via texts, video chat, and social media, so being a little lenient on screen time for a bit may be worth it.
Consider a pet.
Turn a rough day into a “ruff” evening. After navigating unfamiliar school hallways and trying to find people to sit by at lunch, coming home to a dog who just wants to cuddle up can be a godsend!
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