Posted by: Worried mum | 2008/08/13

Moving town with 16yr old

About a month ago we moved from one town to another. My husband had to move as his work was becoming unbearable. We have a 16yr old daughter. She was very happy and had lots of friends in her old school where she had been for her whole school career. She has made friends at her new school, but is always on mxit or facebook with her old friends. This seems to make her very depressive. She does not want to listen to any advice we offer. She is sleeping or busy with her cellphone the whole day and ignores us and seems to be in a world of her own. She is a good and intelligent girl, but I am very worried and want to help her to be happy again. I have suggested that she sees a doctor but she does not want to listen to me and says that I am ridiculous. We are all struggling to adapt in the new circumstances and her attitude is not helping! I do as much as possible for her but it does not look if she is even noticing. I don' t now what to do and some times feel like ignoring her back,but don' t know if this will be harmful Please give me advice!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageTeen expert


unfortunately you have moved at one of the most crucial times in your teens life. This does happen in people's life for various reasons that are unavoidable, but to expect that it will not impact on her I am afraid is wishful thinking.

Whilst she may be making attempts to make new friends, she is going to be missing her old friends tremendously. She is at a stage of development where friends are eveything and adults including parents are seen as less important - even though they are important! She is experiencing a major loss in her life and as with all losses she is going to need time to adjust. She is going to be angry with you partly because you are her parents so you are the "safest" people to be angry with - but she will also be angry with you for making her move away from her friends - because no matter how much your reasons make sense for the family they may not make sense to her.

Whilst it is important that you maintain your boundaries around how she may speak with you, I would also ask you to allow her some time and space with this and to a certain degree take the pain of how she feels. Ignoring her back will just feed into her resentment - rise above it and remember that engaging in adolescent behaviour is best done by adolescents!!

I know it can be hard but showing her you understand that she is struggling and that this move was not her choice will go quite a way to helping her - even if she doesnt show it!

Best wishes

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Our users say:
Posted by: NAds | 2008/08/18

Hey there i am writing as a 17 year girl that went through the same thing. We moved from jHB year and a half ago to the coast. i was in grade 9 and was gonna start my new year in a new place in grade 10.
When my parents told me i was moving in the beginning of my grade 9 year i was devastated, i was 16 then. I had just got into my first serois relationship and had just started to accept my friends and live a happy life and with my sport. But when those words crossed me i was broken in half, i hated my parents and life from that day on and resented my whole family. I couldn' t tell my BF yet, we were only dating for 6 months then. I only told him when we were dating ten months. but i didt wanna loose him and i did love him so much!

my parents hated our relationship but we glued ourselves to each other cause we wanted to spemd as much time possible together, and wit my friends and my horse rding. When i moved away, my BF didnt wanna do long distance but i begged him to try... I tried he didint hav trust in me and made it hard for me. i got a job and got money to get him to me. I had to leave my horses behind and my carreer i was building up as a showjumper, and lost all my friends and school i loved truelly.

Now a year and a half my rela wit my BF lasted but he cheated on me, even though i jumped on a plane to see him for a day without my parents knowing but got cuffed for it, but was worth it. My mom brought me up very good an i never slept with him cause i had morals.

So i had to get a new horse and start from scratch, which took me 4years to build up with my previous horse.But my parents said that i could bring my prev horse up in the end of this year, but then a month ago my horse got put down. I was in pieces. i felt my carreer and dreams were never meant to be and i still cant forgive my parents for bringing me where i am now.

I am in a school and started drinking and swearing and rebelling cause its the living environment in caught up in.
I don' t smoke or do drugs cause i wont harm my body or do stuff to fit in cause im too headstrong and have a mind.
I know ur daughter mis going through a very tough time but dont force her to accept the change. Give her time lots of time. try be leniant in ways to help her understand u are trying to help make it easier for her but don' t give her all the freedom to make her loose her head. My mom forced me to see someone and thought i didi drugs or was sleeping around and that just made me hate her more cause she should know of better and know she raised me well and should trust me.

Till today i still cry about my ex my horse my friends and school my life back home....I still havent forgiven my folks in full a year and half later... but im trying im still healing. I also had to change languages which was so difficult for me...please from ur view have i been unreasonable?.....

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