Question and Answer

Our 17-year-old son says he won't move with the family. He wants to live with friends and graduate from the school he now attends. Should we let him stay?

Your son's reaction and "plan" are not uncommon. Discuss his desire to stay with his friends and at his school. At the same time, explain the reality that the family (of which he is a part) needs to move, in spite of disappointments or protests.

As a rule, avoid fragmenting your home if at all possible. You may, however, want to consider leaving part of the family behind if the move must take place with only a month or two left in the school semester. This is especially true if it's his senior year. In this case, one option involves having the working/transferred parent go ahead to the new town while the rest of the family waits for school to end. If this isn't possible, find a family (of your choice) that would be willing to board your son until the semester's end. Plan to return for the commencement ceremonies. Before leaving your son, make sure all medical releases and records, as well as legal and financial issues, are understood and available to the host family. And make it clear when your son is expected to join you.

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