I’m 14 and I’ve been very happy growing up and living in Dubai. Last week my father told us his company is transferring him to the US, and our family is going to move there. It’s going to be a huge change and I am really upset because I love it here and I will miss my friends. I don’t know how to handle the situation. Any advice?

Let me start by saying that you’re absolutely right – this move is going to be a big change for you and your family, and it’s going to take time and a fair amount of courage for you to fully adjust to the news.

I suggest you begin by focusing on the positives. It’s far too easy in life to default to a negative setting. First, try to take on board this new development as positively as possible, no matter how difficult that might seem initially.

View your move in the most adventurous spirit that you can; not everyone your age has the chance to live in different parts of the world, and those who do often don’t get the chance to live together as a complete family unit when a parent works abroad. Try thinking of yourself as the lucky one, starting a whole new interesting life chapter – seize the opportunity and enjoy it.

Moving away from your established surroundings is never easy; it can bring up a whole range of conflicting emotions – from anger and frustration, to feelings of loss and grief. But by anticipating these feelings, you can learn to combat them by trying to build an optimistic outlook towards your move. While it’s inevitable you will miss your current friends, remember it’s a modern world, which means you’re never more than a ‘click’ away from anyone, and friendships can continue to flourish even at geographic extremes.

And if you’re worried about making new friends, don’t be; you’ve made them before and I’m sure you will make them again. I’m sure you’ll be the ‘new cool kid from overseas’.

This move is a big deal for everyone. I’m sure your parents must be apprehensive as well. It’s important you let them know your concerns, while showing you appreciate and understand that they have made this decision for the best. This is a time to demonstrate a level of maturity they will appreciate.