New Duty Station: How To Help Military Kids Adjust

by Heather on September 17, 2015

new duty station

Today I’m excited to introduce my blogger friend Julie from Soldier’s Wife, Crazy Life. You’re going to love her and her tips on helping military kids adjust to a new duty station! As I have a two-year-old, I thought it would be great for you to hear from someone with older kids who has been through a few PCS relocations. Enjoy!

New Duty Station: How To Help Military Kids Adjust

One of the challenges of raising kids in a military family is having to move to a new duty station all of the time. A lot of military families move once every 3-4 years.

This means that most military children attend many different schools and are often the new kid or having to make new friends because all of their friends moved away. It can be a struggle.

We have not moved as often as other military families and my son is still on his 5th school. Luckily he has been at the same school for quite a few years in a row. It is nice to have that consistency but I know it isn’t the norm for a military family and the only reason for it is because my husband is now in the National Guard.

So as a parent, how do you help your children through a PCS? How do you help them understand that this is all apart of your lifestyle?

Each of your children might handle it differently.

Before You Leave

~If they are very young, you probably won’t be sitting down with them about it. You will just be working to try to make it a smooth process. They might notice changes in their home and that is important to recognize as well.

~For an older child it would be a good idea to tell them far in advance. Then they have time to get used to the idea and spend some time with friends that they are going to have to say goodbye to. You don’t want to wait until too close to the time you are leaving to tell them what is going on.

~It would be best to get them excited about their future home and new duty station. Let them know some of the fun things you can do when you get there that you can’t in your current area. Let them help with picking out a new place to live or which room they will have. Let them have a little bit of control when you can give it to them.

~Having a goodbye party might be a good idea too. Your kids can invite their friends for one last party. It can be a good way for them to say goodbye to all of their friends.

After You Arrive At Your New Duty Station

~After you get to your new location it would be a good idea to explain to your kids what they can expect at their new school. This is especially important if you move in the middle of the school year.

~Find out exactly what they are nervous about and talk it over with them. That will go a long way in helping them get used to their new surroundings.

~Make sure you are taking them places to meet new friends as well. Check your local MWR for kid’s activities and events to go to. If you have smaller kids you can take them to the park because most likely there will be other kids to interact with there.

The most important thing is that they know that you are in control of their future, even if you are not totally sure what it looks like. Your kids will look up to you and will want to know that everything is going to be okay. Let them talk to you about what they are feeling and do your best to help them out.

Are you moving to a new duty station soon? Are you worried about your kids during the PCS?

Julie is a blogger & social media addict living in Tennessee. She has been married for 13 years to her National Guard Soldier and has three boys, 10, 8 & 4. You can find her at Soldier’s Wife, Crazy Life and on Twitter and Facebook.

new duty station

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jennifer September 17, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Great tips! I try to include him in every part of the moving process. I also remind him that home is where your family is and home is not the house.


2 Heather September 23, 2015 at 3:44 pm

Thanks! So true– home can mean many things!


3 Amber September 22, 2015 at 3:58 pm

These are great tips! I’m from a military family so I was always nervous to arrive to a new place and make new friends.


4 Heather September 23, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Thanks for stopping by Amber!


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