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Preparing Military Kids for a PCS Move
  • I used to tell my kids that military families were like gypsies. We moved around a lot and we never knew how long we would live somewhere so we would have to make friends fast so they would "stick" when we or they moved away. Some kids take moving in stride regardless of age and some don't. As a former Military spouse that moved 24 times in 21 years I learned to teach my children to always be prepared. Orders can come at the worst possible time. As soon as we knew a move might be imminent we had a "family discussion". We started scavenger hunts to see what each child and family member could learn about the next duty station. I would give each child an address book to collect addresses and phone numbers of friends they were leaving behind. We would take pictures of friends to paste into the address books. I would also try to locate families that may have served at the new duty station so we could get first hand information on the best pizza parlors, schools, shopping centers etc. We always tried to make moving an adventure. We even paid top dollar on more than one occasion to move the family pets. Moving can be sad, but if the parents remain positive the children will be more positive as well.
  • I was active duty and moved 14 times over my 21 year career and I found that it always helped finding out information about the new location was alot of fun. Since the advent of social media--it truly has made staying in touch with old friends from previous assignments so much easier. Having traditions such as the first meal in the new location, or last meal in the old one...make the transition an adventure.