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Imagine what it would be like to have only just arrived in a new country and you are immediately in lockdown.  Moving abroad is hard enough on its own but when you have to convince a teen to accept the new living arrangement the situation can get even harder.

Being in the phase of life when you are not a child but also not an adult yet is confusing. That’s why the idea of having to change their environment and to make new friends can seem like the worst option for teens.

While you are doing what’s best for your family, most teens don’t have the ability to understand that at this point. You may not be able to convince them immediately that the move is a good idea but there are tips that can help them adjust to moving overseas more easily. 


1. Explain Why You Are Moving

Some parents think that teens will protest against the move anyways so they don’t find it necessary to explain to them in detail why the move is their choice. Don't underestimate the children like that. They may not be adults but treating them as one will make them feel more important. 

One of the reasons why teenagers can get angry about the move is that they don’t feel respected or heard. What you can do to ease that feeling is to sit down with them and clearly explain why you are moving. 

For example, if you finally got your dream job overseas don’t just make that statement and expect your teen to grasp the importance. Tell them how hard you have worked for that job, talk to them about new opportunities that await your family, etc. 


2. Approach Them After Their Initial Reaction

There is barely any teen that will be thrilled about leaving their home and going to a foreign place. Consequently, you shouldn’t take their first reaction too seriously. They may get angry, or frustrated, or even say things they don’t mean. Let them vent first and then try to talk to them.

If you lose patience at that moment the situation can escalate in seconds. It’s better to wait a few hours or even a day. When they calm down they will be more open to talking and understanding why the move is inevitable.


3. Get Them Excited About Your New City

Do some research about the city you’ll live in and find interesting attractions and activities. There might be a cool concert happening during the summer or a fun café that your child will love. If you want to get them on your side you have to lure them with something good.

Take time to single out places, attractions, and events that could be entertaining for your teen and present your new place of living in the best light. They will be more open to the idea of moving if they already have something to look forward to. 

“Teenagers can only be won over with specific events or places. Most teens reject the whole idea of moving and they won't be the ones who will look into fun things to do in their new city. That’s why you should give them the initial push, tickle their imagination, and let them further explore all the adventure that can come their way,” says Diana Adjadj, a writer at WowGrade and BestEssayEducation


4. Let Them Know When They’ll See Their Friends Again

Friends are what make the teenager's world at that age. Leaving them behind will be really tough for them. There is something that you can do to make this less hard and that is scheduling the trip back to visit their friends.

Even if you can’t leave work anytime soon, you can get someone to accompany your child and travel back to your previous hometown. It’s important that they don’t see this departure as the final separation from their beloved friends. The trip back “home” will show your child that moving overseas won't cut off their contact with friends forever.

Besides, you should remind them that with all the technology they can keep in touch with their best friends at all times. It won’t be hard to catch up when they get back as they’ll communicate over the phone even when they are miles apart. That’s the beauty of this digital era.


5. Enroll Them in a Language School

Blending in the new environment and making friends will be much easier if your teen can speak the language. In case you will be moving to a country where people don't speak your language, enroll your child in a language school ASAP!

Don’t wait to move to start learning the language. It will be a whole lot easier if they get there and know how to converse. By taking a language course they will also learn more about the new culture and prepare themselves for a new life. 

“Language is often the biggest barrier when it comes to adapting to new environments. The advantage that teens have is that they are prone to learning languages faster than adults. That’s why they should start with learning as fast as possible and they might already have a pretty decent speaking ability when they move to a new country," advises Neightan White, a copywriter at SupremeDissertations


6. Get Them Excited About Your New Home

Having a project to work on can get your child’s mind off of what they are leaving behind. That project can be decorating your new home. Especially, designing their new room. With the clean slate comes in a new place the opportunity to create your dream house.

Encourage them to browse the internet for room ideas. They can create Pinterest boards and find inspiration for their room’s look. You can even go to markets to thrift some vintage décor that will enrich the look of your new home.

Your teen will have a project that will keep them occupied before they move and when they get to the new house as well. That means that they won't be worried about how they'll spend all that extra time. 


Final Thoughts

Lastly, remember that dealing with teenagers demands lots (and lots) of patience. They may be sensitive but with the right approach, you can make their adjustment to a new place less gruesome. 

Don't lose hope if your teen doesn't react in a good way at first. Try out these tips and give your child some time to accept the new changes and realize that a new environment can bring amazing opportunities. 


21 May 2020
Imagine what it would be like to have only just arrived in a new country and you are immediately in lockdown. Moving abroad is hard enough on its own but when you have to convince a teen to accept the new living arrangement the situation can get even harder.