Moving Teenagers

Buy a car … check
Buy a house … check
Sign the children up for the next school year … check
Join the library and start getting to know the city … check
Start volunteering in the community … check
Find a way to get my teenager involved with new friends … ermmmmmm

Three weeks into this new life and the biggest concern left is figuring out how my teenager can meet up with other teenagers and start building friendships. At this incredibly awkward age of self-consciousness, even talking to someone new is difficult for her. The phone has become an appendage to Catherine as she tries to maintain her friendships in Houston. We have allowed her significantly more screen time over the last few weeks to help her through this bump in her life. But now Steve and I need to figure out how to get her meeting other kids this summer. We are trying a few things;
1) She started playing tennis with kids her own age (1 lesson so far)
2) We started volunteering. Last week’s park clean-up left blisters all over her hands which meant that the one tennis session she had was incredibly painful (good planning, Mom)
3) We plan to enroll her in a tennis summer camp, but that is not for 4 weeks
4) We are looking into some summer sessions offered by the local college (kayaking, cooking, code breaking, creative writing, etc.)
5) As soon as we move in to our new home we will schedule a house warming party and meet some neighbors

My big question is this, if my daughter remains phlegmatic about every opportunity I suggest for her to incorporate herself in the community, do I force the issue? For example, I know she would love to take the kayaking course (since she loved the brief intro to kayaking she had last year and the year before) … but she groans and says No. I think she’d enjoy a cooking class, but again she moans aloud that she doesn’t care. I tend to think that encouragement is the most I ought to do, and ultimately let her make the final decision thereby allowing her to feel some control on her out-of-control life right now. At some point this summer she will get so bored that she will try anything new to get out and meet new kids.

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2 Responses to Moving Teenagers

  1. Peter Wang says:

    She needs time. It’s a huge change for teenagers.

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