Teens in particular will have a tougher time saying goodbye. It’s understandable, since they’ve built a network for themselves that they now have to leave. Sure, they can stay in touch online, but as they realize, it won’t be the same.
One of the best ways to help your teen adjust to the prospect of moving, especially if they’ll no longer be in short driving distance, is to help them say goodbye.
- It’s important that your teen has a chance to say goodbye to the special people in her life. Ask her how she would like to do this. Throw a party? Plan a smaller get-together around pizza and a movie at home? Time to hang-out at the mall again? Whatever your teen decides, keep in mind that the closer you get to the moving date, time might be crunched, so a send-off would be better earlier rather than later.
- It’s also important to say goodbye to the special places in her life. How about the peach orchard you’ve been taking the kids to each summer? The turtle creek? A favorite diner? Teens (and you) will get nostalgic and that’s good. Talking about your fond memories will help ease the transition.
- Depending on the age of your teen, she may or may not be on social media. Is she on email? She probably already has an email account. Help her with a method of keeping in touch.
- Pictures! Suggest to your teen that she take lots of pictures and organize some special ones into a picture book like the ones by Shutterfly or in a cut-and-paste book that she tapes in herself. Doing the project will be a way for her to transition as she thinks about her second grade Halloween party with her friends, or her first sleepover, or the time when Julie and Samantha came with the family to the beach and they floated for hours on the red raft before it lost all its air. All of it is a way for her to both hold onto, and say goodbye to, wonderful friends.
- Moving is a major change and it’ll always offer some difficult moments. Be watchful for some little warning signs like withdrawn behavior, loss of appetite or problems sleeping. Keeping the lines of communication open between you and your teen will be the best way to help. Having a simple cup of tea or asking her to join you at the grocery store offers a pathway for feelings to be shared.