When a family decides to move to a new location it can be stressful for everyone involved, especially the children. Children who are old enough to understand what moving means can have a hard time accepting and adjusting before, during, and after the move. Although moving can be hard for all children, military children are especially affected.
On average, the children of a military family will move 6 to 9 times before they graduate high school (Astor). PCS (Permanent Change of Station) moves have a significant impact on a child’s ability to adjust to a new home and schedule, make new friends, and catch up on school work. At Fry-Wagner, we not only want to provide the best moving services for the men and women who serve our country, but we also want to help make the move easier for their children. Below you will find a list of ways to help a child adjust to a PCS move.
- Include children in making plans for the move. A good way to include them is to ask them for help in the house-hunting process to find a new home.
- Take them on a tour of the new base or area they will be living. Visit a restaurant, drive past their new school, or take them to a local park they may be visiting frequently.
- Let them decide how they want to decorate their new room. Picking out new paint colors, furniture, and/or bedding will help a child become excited about their new home.
- Encourage children to exchange addresses and phone numbers with their friends.
- Take a family break after the majority of packing is complete and do something fun. Let the kids decide what they would like to do!
- Ask your child about their fears and concerns regarding the move. Encourage open dialogues throughout the entire move process.
- Prepare a comfort package for each child to keep with them while traveling to the new location. Include a change of clothes and a few of their favorite toys and snacks.
- Say goodbye to your home as a family.
- Mark your move date on the calendar, and create a family countdown. Have each child take a turn marking off each day that passes, so they know when to expect the move and get excited about it.
At Fry-Wagner, we are so thankful for all of our military men and women who make sacrifices for our country’s safety each and every day. We strive to make all military moves as stress-free as possible, because we know how stressful moves can be for families, including children. We hope these tips will be helpful for your next move. For more information on moving with children or how to plan your next move, contact us today!
Astor, 2011; Berg, 2008; Kitmitto et al., 2011; Sherman & Glenn, 2011