Teenagers don’t exactly have a reputation for displaying the ultimate in flexibility. They have built their lives around their friends and readily become accustomed to the life they feel they have built. When something intrusive like moving blows their world apart, they often don’t respond with a great deal of enthusiasm. Moving with teenage daughters can be a challenge, but one with a large reward.
By the time a child reaches their later teens, they have developed a social world outside of the family. However, that world is more than just their social world, it is their support system. Whether that support system is healthy or not is an entirely different matter altogether. To them, their support system is irreplaceable.
When the news of moving far away blows a teenage girl’s world apart, there are several different ways that a parent can choose to handle the crisis. And yes, to her, it is a crisis. We can minimize their feelings, and tell them to stop being so dramatic. We can allow then to play our guilt strings and manipulate their way into having everything they want. We can realize we are teaching them valuable life lessons in the process of moving, allow them to express their feelings, and help them to understand that there are new opportunities waiting for them. Sometimes, you have to look really hard when you’re moving to a region that you aren’t even all that excited about. However, there are bound to be opportunities for a new start or different experiences regardless of the region.
Teenagers believe that distance between friends ultimately means the end of a friendship. This is simply not true. Teaching them through example that their friendships can still remain positive even though they are moving is a life lesson they may need a few times in their life. Things don’t stay static, and change is bound to happen, and of course, people have to adjust.
When it is possible, ask your daughter her opinion. While chances are pretty good that you will receive a negative opinion, asking it anyway makes lets her know that her thoughts and feelings still matter. She may very well surprise you. When choosing a house, or other big decision, the simple fact that you are asking her opinion means that you aren’t discounting her.
It’s not uncommon for a teenage girl to be leaving behind a boyfriend that she is already fully aware you are not fond of. Commentary that lends itself to how better off your daughter is going to be or how relieved you will be when the two of them are separated is really not going to help strengthen the bonds between you and your teenager. Until she makes new friends, her family is all she has. Starting the move off by mimicking her broken heart, perhaps her first broken heart is not likely to be her first choice.
Teenager daughters by nature tend to be complicated. It’s not an intentional desire to drive you mad, but an inherit right of being a teenage girl. Her feelings about moving are likely to change as fast as her wardrobe. Keeping on top of her emotions is going to seem like an impossible task and you’re the butt of a very complicated joke. Teenage girls just tend to be like that. Often, they have so much going on inside their busy little brains that they are feeling as though they are the butt if the same complicated joke. Despite the fact that it may very well become a chore, it is still important that you are making an effort to stay in tune with her feelings.
Once a move has been made, a mild depression is normal, however severe depression is not. A little melancholy over missing friends and even a broken heart over a boyfriend should be expected as well as respected. Teenagers live in the complicated world of being almost grown up, but not feeling like they have nearly enough control over their lives. Moving away is evidence of the lack of control they have. A parent’s expectation that they deal with their emotions and start everything anew if evidence of how grown up they are expected to be. Until she has a chance to build a new support system, you’re it. Bring her as close as you can to the realization that having friends both near and far is special, show her the new opportunities which are undoubtedly awaiting, and respect the way she feels, even if her feelings change by the hour.