6. Family and Routines
Taking care of the family unit is critical during transition. Between the loss of a support system to the feelings of fear and anxiety – a mid-year move can bring havoc the mental health of the military family.
Stay positive, stay calm, and stay real. Establish reasonable goals for each member of the family, especially the children. It’s normal to be scared or feel anxiety, let them feel it, don’t patronize it away. These little worrying warriors don’t have the life perspective of adults to know things will be eventually settle down. Be encouraging, not demanding to “shake off” the sadness after a move.
Once you’ve settled in and happen to notice your children aren’t quite back to themselves socially or academically, it might be a good idea to ask for little help.
- A school psychologist is assigned to every school; ask for an appointment with or without your child. You’ll gain insight into the school; staff will keep the child on their radar and help you find ways to ease the transition.
- Military Family Life Consultants (MLFC) are highly trained professionals familiar with the military life style. They are available to children and adults – and it’s free, too. Contact your local FRG or Family Readiness Center.
- Military One Source is a one-stop shop for resources for the military family. There is free counseling offered to any member of your family and it can be performed online, in person (off base/post) or over the phone. militaryonesoure.com
Most children will take their cues regarding how they feel directly from parents. If parents stay positive, chances are the children will, too. (Here’s more on positive attitude.) Don’t forget to make memories! Military-connected children can be resilient and surprise us with how they see the world. Let them lead if they’re ready.
Yes, it’s cold outside. For about 250,000 military personnel and their families, moving can’t wait until convenience of summer. And for military families with school-age children moving this winter – saying goodbye to friends, moving to a new location and starting a new school is just a part of military life, they just do it in winter jackets.