After a while, moving becomes part of the rhythm of military life: you receive your PCS (permanent change of station) orders, you box up your family’s belongings and make the move to another state or country. Then just as you are getting comfortable in your new home – it starts all over again.
No matter how many schools your kids have attended or how many bases you’ve seen, relocation can be one of the most disruptive, challenging aspects of military family life. The key is choosing to remain positive and maintain a grateful attitude throughout the process. Here are a few tips that will help make the move as stress-free as possible:
– Stay connected: It may seem like a bother to keep in touch with the friends you’ll be leaving behind, but it’s an important part of smoothing the transition period. If you don’t stay connected, it sends a message to your kids that there’s no point in making long-term friends at all — and kids need to feel comfortable reaching out to their new classmates and neighbors. Social networking and email make keeping in touch easier than ever, so make a point of staying in touch as a family.
– Get everyone involved: Moving is stressful for parents, but kids have a particularly difficult time adjusting to change. It’s important that you talk to them about the situation — why you’re moving, what your new home will look like, how they can keep in touch with their old classmates — so that they feel as comfortable as possible. Get them excited about the move by inviting them to help with the process, and most importantly, remember to be present and take time to listen.
– Explore and Discover: Learn as much as you can about your new city and neighborhood before you make the move. Look up recreation facilities and family-friendly events and sign the kids up for groups and activities as soon as possible. Once you’ve arrived, integrate yourself into the community; if you’re on a base, this means joining groups, attending socials and parties, and getting to know your military family neighbors. This is especially important for kids; getting them out of the house and excited about their new community is essential to making them as comfortable with the change as possible.
– Make it an adventure: A successful transition hinges primarily on attitude. If you can help your family view this as an opportunity instead of an obstacle, the move can actually be a lot of fun. This is essential for your own mental health as well; a move is a fresh start, so use this as a chance to examine your own life and where you may want to improve and grow. Empower yourself with online programs geared towards providing the portable skills required when seeking employment in a new location.
Also try reading:
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Military Spouses- Your Time Is Valuable, Invest It Wisely
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