DEAR HARRIETTE: I just put a down payment on a new home. At first, I thought this would be a great transition in our life, but now my kids are kicking and screaming about moving. They are teenagers and don't want to lose their friends! They can make new ones, and we'll only be an hour away from our old home. They'll have a better education here. How can I get them to appreciate this move instead of complaining about it and dreading it? -- Relocation, Madison, Wisconsin
DEAR RELOCATION: Moving is at the top of the list of stressful activities in a person's life, especially for children. It is natural for them to protest. Teenagers are at the stage when they are exerting more independence, which only makes it more uncomfortable for you, because their voices are maturing. You have to stand your ground and focus on the future. Talk to your children about the new neighborhood. Take them to visit so that they can see their new school and any extracurricular options nearby. Stay calm.
You can expect your children to be unhappy for a while. Consider that natural. After you move, do your best to enroll them in activities that will positively occupy their time. You can also welcome them to invite their friends over for weekend sleepovers or other engagements. But mostly, help them acclimate to their new surroundings. In time, they will make new friends and learn to enjoy their new home.