5 Ways to make a PCS a positive experience for your kids

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The daughter of a 914 Operation Support Squadron member sits among her father's luggage as her family waits for his departure from Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, N.Y., May 9, 2016. The member is on his way to Qatar in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Stephanie Sawyer)

Moving every few years puts the whole house through an emotional roller coaster. Just when it looks like everything might be melting down. Your resilient military kids might shock you by taking it in stride, but it also helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve to make your next move a smooth one for your kids:

    1. Tell your kids when you know your going to PCS. Give your kids plenty of time to adjust to the idea of moving and not seeing their friends everyday.
    2. Talk to them. They're going to have questions, and knowledge can help control their move anxiety. You should listen patiently and answer as best you can. Be involved with them as you research their new school, nearby parks and base activities with them.
    3. Reassure them. They might be moving to a totally different location with a new home, climate and school, but the important things won't change. Kids watch their parents to help understand how to react. If you stay positive, the move can be fun and exciting.
    4. Give them a job. If the kids are working, it takes away their time to worry about everything. Younger kids can sort their toys or pack their own "first day box." Teenagers might be able to help plan portions of the move, such as searching for new houses online or fun things to do in your new area.
    5. Make the rounds of everyone's favorite things and places. Before you move, visit your favorite parks, the attractions or other places. Take souvenirs with you to the new home and encourage your child to find a new favorite spot.

Moving is normal part of military life. It has its challenges, but it doesn't have to lead to meltdowns, stress and depression. Plan, Plan, and Plan some more but be flexible as issues emerge. Keep the lines of communication open and talk about your new home. Knowledge is powerful, and it will make the relocation easier for your kids ... and you.

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Date of original publication:
Updated on: July 12, 2017

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