Moving during teenage years is particularly difficult. Friendships have been forged; groups established, and after-school activities have been implemented. Leaving the security of one’s environment can incite a broad spectrum of responses…from despair, anxiety, or anger to passive acceptance.

Executive Arrangements Guide Caroline Merk is a Northeast Ohio expert with a teenage daughter of her own. She understands the issues families face when considering a relocation or moving during a child’s teenage years. Here are her thoughts on how to successfully support and encourage a teenager relocating to our region.

When we, at Executive Arrangements, provide Northeast Ohio orientation days to a family with teenagers, we are very mindful of how daunting it is for a young person to face such forced changes. Whenever possible, we try to have a teen meet other kids with common interests. So, depending on those interests, there are places that teens can be taken to, or shown, in order for them to begin to see that a new life is possible. For parents faced with this task, I’ve put together some ideas, although I fully understand that teens prefer to do activities with peers rather than parents.

I consulted with my own 17-year-old daughter, Gigi, whose interests include playing soccer and computer games, and who has a close group of guy friends in two different high schools. She felt, first and foremost, that a teen should shadow in a few schools to see where he or she would feel comfortable. Some factors worthy of consideration are: a bigger, more diverse school versus a smaller school with fewer kids in classes; type of scheduling (block versus periods); athletics when applicable; single sex or co-ed; and availability of clubs. Gigi created a few categories, although there is some overlap, in order to group activities that teens might enjoy: the nature lover, the athlete/sports enthusiast, the arts/music-oriented teen, and girls who shop. Many of these are season-dependent.

Holden Arboretum Canopy Walk

Nature Lover

Athlete/Sports Enthusiast

Cleveland Velodrome

Arts/Music-Oriented Teen

Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica

Teenagers Who Shop (plenty of options)

Almost all teens would enjoy going to Cedar Point!

My last idea is about food. I suggest going to the West Side Market and indulging your kid in whatever he or she wants! Go to dinner along one of Cleveland’s waterfronts, watch a freighter go by, and see the sun set over Lake Erie.

The staff of Executive Arrangements is happy to make other recommendations! Think of us as community experts. Does your company need help welcoming, educating, and connecting top talent and their families to Cleveland or Akron? Call EA to discuss how we can help. 216.231.9311.