How to make an international move with teenagers a positive experience?
January 3, 2017
Taking your family out of its comfort zone to move to a new country might not be an easy task – especially when you have teenagers
Everyone recalls his or her teenage years. The ambivalence between still wanting to be a child and the desire to already be an independent adult, mixed feelings, confusion… Imagine that to this age-related issues, you add an international move. This is how your teenager sons or daughters will feel when you tell them they have to leave behind their friends, school, and neighborhood to start a new life in a new country.
Regardless of your motivation for relocating, it’s vital that you encourage positive thinking with teenagers and to keep them involved at every stage. But how to do it? For this, we give you some tips that – if they might not remove all their insecurities and fears about the move -, they will definitely make this transition period much easier.
Listen to their concerns
Taking time to sit down with your son or daughter to talk about the move is an important step in the moving process. Ask them how they feel or if they have any fears. You might also want to share with them some of your insecurities, however, showing them that you try to focus on the positives and the benefits of the move.
Share move information
Don’t try to leave them out of the move preparations. Keep them updated about each process of the move, how the arrangements are going, new information that you might receive about the destination…
Let them feel you are “a team” and that they are an important part of it.
Give them responsibilities
Having responsibilities belongs to the adult world and teenagers are eager to become adults. Give them a list of tasks to do (from organizing their bedroom packing to taking care of the pet during the moving day).
Moreover, teenagers tend to be more digital-savvy than their parents, thus, it can be a good idea to get them do some research on a multitude of issues concerning your destination (the best neighborhood in which to buy or rent; driver’s license information, school systems – which are the highest rated; places to visit…).
One key factor for the move success is your attitude. “If parents adopt genuine enthusiasm for the change they are about to embark on, they can truly enrich their children’s world by supporting them through the rough stages ahead,” said Elizabeth Perelstein, President of School Choice International, Inc. “Expatriate children are known to be more self-assured, more adaptable, as well as more open minded.”
It may sound obvious but when preparing for the relocation, don’t forget to consider what the implications will be for your family as a whole and how each person will feel, especially teenagers. Being fully prepared will help you to support everyone through any difficult times ahead.
Do you next extra support for your international move? See how we can help you before, during and after your move.