There we were standing in our empty apartment. It was our first PCS move (OCONUS as well). The movers just wrapped an up. Our luggage was off to the corner. Our PCS binder was set aside. We looked at each other and thought the same thing, “moving is stressful”.
Military families must pack up and move every so often. Some move multiple times in a year. The adults usually grimace, take it on the chin, and say, “it is what it is”. For military children, the move can put them on an emotional roller coaster.
Here are some tips to make the PCS move easier for your kids.
Tell them early.
They’ll need time to process. It’s best to give them enough time as possible to say bye to their friends.
<They’ll ask questions. Where are we going? Why do we have to go? Is it nice at the new place? Answer as much as possible and as honestly as possible.
Give them space.
They may be angry at you, your spouse, the military. It’s okay to be upset for a little bit. Give them space to cool off and then approach with some of the positives to moving: new friends, new room to decorate, traveling.
Let them help.
Get them involved so they feel vested in this move as well. Let them help research the new school, area, and activities. If they’re old enough, you can let them pack their travel bag while you just oversee.
Set a bucket list.
Set aside time to visit their favorite ice cream place or park or local activity. Collect mementos from each place if they wish.
Stay positive and reassure that while their address might change, your love for them does not. Emphasize that you are a family and you will get through this together.
Encourage them to keep open minded.
Things at the new duty station will be unfamiliar and different. Ease into things. Don’t rush them into liking new things, or they may resist.
Moving is stressful for the whole family. Whether you’re packing or traveling, kids can pick up on that stress as well. That’s why I created a printable PCS book for kids in my Military Printables etsy shop. The book has all sorts of activities, games, and coloring pages to help your kids keep positive and stay distracted from the negative side of moving.
There’s over 100 pages of activities and I made it printable so you can use them again and again for any moving, traveling, or just plain fun!
With this printable ebook you get,
*License Plate Game
*Spot the Difference
Recommended age range for this book is Pre-K to 5th Grade.
Get started now and grab your copy today!