Teen Upset by Major Move

You're not alone. Frequent moves are becoming a way of life for a large percentage of American families. You don't have to like or agree with the choices your parents and your dad's employer have made. But if you want to find God's plan for your life, you will need to find a way to cope with and eventually accept your situation.

This isn't easy. When you've spent most of your life in the same place, it's hard to pack up and leave your school, church, teachers, and friends behind. You're in a new city and you're starting over from scratch. Your parents are eager for you to adjust and find new friends, and they hope this will happen quickly. But it isn't that simple.

You may need to allow yourself a time for sadness. The losses you've experienced are real, and nobody should make light of them. When you're upset or depressed, accept your feelings for what they are. Things will gradually get better, as you allow the healing process to continue. Remember that God loves you, and your circumstances are under His control. He's working out the details of His will for your life, and He has promised never to leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

Talking to someone about your feelings may help you overcome discouragement. We'd encourage you to open your heart to your mom and dad. Find a time when you can sit down with them and express your emotions openly. Ask them to do the same - they're probably going through some struggles of their own because of the move. Sharing feelings can strengthen the family ties that bind you together. You and your parents may develop a deeper understanding and friendship than you've ever had before.

In the meantime, maybe you can keep in touch with old friends via phone calls, texts, or occasional visits. At the same time, you can build a new life and look for ways to become involved in your new community through sports, a church youth group, a service organization, or other activities.

Before closing, we want to let you know that we were alarmed to hear you say that there are days when you "don't want to go on living." It's okay to be sad and angry as you work your way through this period of transition, but if you feel that you might be seriously depressed, we'd strongly urge you to talk to your parents about the possibility of getting professional counseling. Focus on the Family's Counseling staff can provide you with referrals to qualified Christian therapists practicing in your local area. They'd also be pleased to discuss your needs with you over the phone. Feel free to give them a call at this number.

Related Video
In this iQuestions video from Focus on the Family, Dr. Gary Chapman shares helpful and contructive ways of dealing with feelings of anger.

Resources
After the Boxes Are Unpacked: Moving On After Moving In (book)

A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression (book)

StressedOrDepressed

Navigating Through the Challenges of Moving I-II (broadcast)

The DNA of Parent-Teen Relationships: How to Forge a Strong and Lasting Bond with Your Teen (book)

Referrals
Just Moved Ministry - This organization ministers to people who have moved and feel lonely in their new surroundings.

Copyright © 2010, Focus on the Family. Used by permission.