Moving Teenage Daughter

by Jen

Hi Sara,

I am a single mom of a 15yr old girl and an 11 yr old boy. I have been dating a man for 5 years. We are buying a hobby farm a little over an hour away.

I currently live in the city with my two kids. I have 50-50 custody of my son and my daughter is estranged from her father so I have her full time. I plan on moving this spring to the farm. In the fall I will rent an apartment in town so the kids can continue to go to the same school. I will keep a place in town until my daughter graduates high school.

Then my ex and I will have to decide where to send my son to high school. Their father and I have a very tumultuous relationship. This move will cause a lot of tension with their father and with my daughter.

When we started this process I had her part time and living on the farm part time was not as big an issue. Now that I have her full time she is less willing to even try it. She is currently having trouble in school and is going through a somewhat rebellious stage. I know this will add more stress but I am not sure what to do.

Can yo give me advice on how to approach her with the fact that this move is going to happen? And advice on transitioning to a new life? How should I handle their dad?

Thank you.

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Are you a city mouse, or a country mouse?
by: Sara

Hi Jen,

I'm not sure what you are thinking the problem will be with the dad. Is the farm far away, is the problem that you will be living with a man? Will the custody situation change? Without more information, it's hard for me to answer that one.

My general advice would be to listen to his concerns, and do your best to be fair. Think of how you might feel if the situation were reversed, and he was moving in with his girlfriend, and your life was going to have to change. Treat him as you would hope to be treated.

Your daughter sounds unhappy in general. It's great that you are not forcing the children to change high schools. That is very difficult.

Why is she rebelling? What is your relationship like with her? Does she receive enough positive attention from you? Is she afraid she will lose you? Will she have less access to friends, etc. by living in the country? Does she get along with your partner?

My advice is really the same. Listen to her concerns. Can they be addressed, and if so, how? If they can't be addressed, still try to address them. haha!

If her struggles seem to be bigger, more serious, etc., consider counseling. Is she involved in activities? If not, perhaps this would help. The teen years are very difficult. Teens have so many hormones running around inside them it is difficult to feel good, and it is difficult to articulate what is wrong.

Be sure that she is getting a lot of love and attention, and feels safe and not forgotten.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

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