Have you ever seen a teenage girl alone? It’s rare as a coconut cream pie at a Weight Watchers picnic. Girls this age love to hang out in packs. There’s security in groups and going alone to the mall or the movies hardly ever happens. Having a pile of girlfriends is like having a warm security blanket wrapped around you that protects you against the bangs and bruises of Junior High and High School.
Taking away that bumper, that social protector, can traumatize even the well-adjusted teenager. Moving will often put your daughter into a tumultuous whirlwind that can affect the entire family. I’ve had to help both my daughters when they moved in Junior High. After the first day of school in our new town, one of my daughters wrote “I hate _______________ (our new town) on her school binder. Needless to say she didn’t endear herself to her fellow students as quickly as she could have!
Below are some tips to help that transition from one community to another.
- Be an example to your daughter. Show her you are also looking for friends. Talk to her about how you go about finding a good match. She needs to see a mother who proactively calls new acquaintances for lunch or a quick shopping trip. Somehow seeing Mom is in the same boat as daughter helps.
- Plan fun get-togethers at your house. Make your house warm, and inviting to her budding friends. If you need to buy a Wii, a pool table, or have a jewelry making class on your dining table, make the sacrifice. Activities often cements new relationships.
- Encourage your daughter to become involved in some sort of outreach. It’s hard to feel too sorry for yourself when you are tutoring advantaged children or working at the local soup kitchen.
- Spend extra time with your daughter scoping out the new community for fun stores and possible family recreation venues. This time when she’s disconnected can morph into a treasured memory of the both of you scouting out a new town. Even if she won’t admit it, she needs Mama more than ever.
Let me hear how you as a mom have helped your teenage daughter relocated. Even if she didn’t have to move to a new house, she might have had to start a new school. How did you handle it?
I’d love to hear from you.