Guest Blog By: Tricia Ross
It’s that time of year: PCS season.
Thousands of military families are in full preparation mode for what is the busiest moving season for installations around the globe. Whether you have orders in hand or are still waiting for a hard copy, let the planning begin. Well-prepared parents are vital in helping children make a smooth transition into a new home. Here are a few ideas on how you can help your military kids prepare for their upcoming move and a smooth transition.
Military Moves: Motivating Your Military Kids for the Next PCS
- Create a timeline. Sit the entire family down and discuss what events are coming up and what needs to get done prior to move day. Take that list of important events and start to create a calendar with weekly goals. If you work on a weekly timeline everything will get done and you will feel accomplished as you get closer to moving day.
- The purge. If your children are old enough, let them have a say in what they want to get rid of and what will be relocating with them. Do one room at a time. Make three piles in each room: to sell, to give away and to keep. Use the “if you have not played with or worn it in a year it is time to get rid of it” rule of thumb.
- A geography lesson. Map out your travel to your new duty station. Buy a large US map or world map, if you’re going overseas. Mark where you currently live and where you are moving to. If your travel is flexible pick some places to visit along your journey. Print photos of places you would like to see along the way and ones you want to visit during your tour in your new area.
- Books. Start collecting books on everything from moving, to re-purposing furniture. Gather a few books that peak your interest or classics you can read as a family. Books on tape or CD are great for the car ride. Age appropriate summer activity books are a must to help keep your children’s skills up and prepare them for the upcoming school year.
- Create a bucket list. Use online resources like Pinterest and TripAdvisor to see what museums, sights, natural wonders and tourist spots are popular in your new area. Create a list of 50-100 things that you would like to do in your new location.
- Extracurricular actives. Start researching opportunities for extracurricular activities in your new area. Keeping a sense of continuity in routine will help make a smooth transition. Go ahead and set up trial classes and visits to various venues. Read reviews and personal stories so that you explore all of your options and make informed choices, that best suit your child.
- Designing their new room. Help your child create a folder with ideas for their new room. Let them start by looking through magazines, cut out ideas from sales flyers and watch DIY videos.
- Laugh everyday. It’s not going to be easy and there will always be an issue that comes up, but learn to laugh about it. If your children see you laughing and having a good time, they will join in the fun.
- Be flexible. Everything is not going to go as planned; there will be things that go according to plan and there will be days when nothing goes smoothly.
- Don’t say good-bye. The military community is small and the likelihood that paths will cross again is high. Saying good-bye isn’t easy, so encourage your children to say, “until we meet again.”
About the Author:
Tricia Ross is a Navy wife currently on an adventure in Okinawa, Japan. She is a Chapter Director for Blue Star Families and strong advocate for military children’s education.