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Relocating a Teenager

Packing up and moving a family is never an easy decision to make, whether it’s across the country or just across the state. It’s something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. There’s more to it than dealing with boxes and bubble wrap. Pulling kids out of school and forcing them to start over can be a very difficult transition, even if you have a pretty well-adjusted kid. And the reason for the move can also impact how your child will handle the situation. Is it for financial reasons? Inability to find work? Divorce? Escaping an abusive home?

When I was in 3rd or 4th grade (can’t remember exactly when), my parents packed us up and moved us from the foothills of Colorado to the western side of the state. Our old house sat on six acres and we were surrounded by farms. It was a great place to grow up. Lots of fresh air and open spaces. The winters were rough though and there were times when we were trapped in the house, unable to get out. Sort of scary with three kids in the house.

My dad was a construction worker and work was hard to come by over on the eastern side of the state. However, construction was booming out west. They sold the house and off to Grand Junction we went. It had to have been before Christmas because I remember only going to my new school for half the year. We rented an apartment for about a year before buying the house that my parents still live in to this day.

It was hard to start over and go to a new school, even being in elementary school. I was the new kid, someone to be picked on and laughed at. My old school hadn’t started multiplication yet, but the new school had been doing it for the whole year so I was way behind. Several of the boys in class ridiculed me, called me stupid (which was one of the nice ones LOL). My mom got some flashcards and sat with me until I had them all memorized. Didn’t take me long either. You see, I had a goal in mind  😉

The next time the teacher had us playing this little game called Around the World, I sat in my seat, heart racing in my chest. I had practiced so hard and so long; I knew I was ready. The smart ass kid who had made fun of me usually made it to the end of the entire classroom with no one else being as fast as him at multiplying the two numbers together that the teacher would yell out. He made it through several students then came to stand behind me. I was actually worried that I wouldn’t be able to remember the answer, or that my throat would lock up so tight I’d never get the number out.

The teacher called out two numbers (wish I could remember which two) and in a split second I blurted out the answer. I will never forget the look on that kid’s face. I remember his name, but won’t share it. I’m sure he’s changed in the decades since  😉  I made it all the way through the class.

I wish I could say that the teasing stopped and life was peachy for me, but that would be a lie LOL  But at least I made it through my family moving and managed to make a few friends that made the transition easier. As an adult, I look back at my childhood and realize that growing up in Grand Jct was totally awesome. It’s a small town and I grew up on a street where you’d only see a car come down every few hours. There was plenty of places for an adventurous kid (and budding scientist!!) to explore.

I was lucky and moved while still in grade school. I can’t imagine making the transition while in high school. That would bring with it a whole new set of problems that can be very difficult to deal with.

If you have a teen and are moving them to a new place and a new school and they need someone to look up to, here are several books with strong characters that deal with the tough situation of moving.

Kelly Hall    sunshine  DR blumegoldfinch

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