Help Your Tween Cope When a Friend Moves Away

When a good friend moves away your tween will need coping strategies

Your tween will likely feel sad when a good friend moves away.
Help your tween cope when a friend moves away by listening and caring about her feelings.

 At some point in your child's life he'll likely have to deal with loss. It may be the loss of a grandparent, a beloved pet or even a friend, and there are all different kinds of losses your child will have to deal with, including when a good friend moves away. While losing a friend to a move isn't the same as dealing with death, it is an event that can cause a great deal of sadness for a preteen.

If your tween is facing the prospect of a good friend moving away, here's how to help your child cope.

When a Friend Moves Away - How to Help Your Tween Cope

Listen and Care: Sometimes it's hard for adults to remember what it was like to be a preteen. Adults are resilient because they've had years of experience dealing with loss, disappointment, and wrestling with a variety of emotions. But tweens are new to all of these experiences. Listen to your tween when she wants to talk about how much she misses her friend, or how unfair it all is. Show her you care, and let her know that you're always available to talk about it. 

Let Him Grieve: Losing a good friend to a move is hard, losing a best friend is even harder. Either way your tween may grieve for the loss, and if she does, let her. The first few days or weeks after her friend moves away may be the most difficult for her, or the start of a new school year, or another event that they shared together.

Expect the occasional temper tantrum and maybe some door slamming. Be patient, it's probably only temporary. If your child appears to have fallen into a depression, it might be a good idea to consult a doctor or school counselor.

Keep in Touch: The good news is technology makes it easer than ever for your tween to keep up with her friend.

Email, social media, texting, face chatting, and other ways of communication will ensure that your tween and her friend won't have to work too hard to stay in touch. You might even suggest that the friends text each other every night before bed, or on the weekends when they're resting up for another busy week of school and extracurricular activities. 

Distraction is Key: It's important that your tween avoid falling into a funk, so be sure you keep her busy with her other friends and a busy social schedule. Your child will need to fill the void, and what better way than with the company of her peers? You might even consider suggesting that your child join a club, a service organization, or try out for a school sports team or the school play to help keep her busy.

Plan a Trip: If it's possible to get the friends together again, consider planning a trip to reunite them. It might be just for a weekend, or maybe a week or two in the summer. Long-distance friendships can last a lifetime, and can also prove to be strong friendships.

Show your tween that you value friendship and that you want her to keep old friends while making new ones.  


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