Anyone who is in the military knows that the permanent change of station (PCS) is inevitable and that they may move several times during their service. Adults and young children are more resilient when it comes to moving compared to school age children. The best thing for the entire family is to make the transition as easy as possible for the children.
Even though families may more often as a part of a military relocation with a basic housing allowance, it still brings about emotional stress, especially for the children. Your children should be able to communicate openly about their feelings and thoughts on the matter so you can make the move easier on them.
Telling your children as soon as you know about the upcoming move due to PCS gives them more time to adjust to the idea and help plan out a course of action. Involve them in packing and small decision making to allow them to make some decisions and feel involved in the process of moving.
Make certain your children have time to say a proper goodbye to all of their friends in school, neighbors and any family nearby. Suggest that they get contact information from each so they can either call or write to them and not feel that they abandoned their friends.
Explain the process of moving to military bases and exactly what it entails. Children like to know the details in advance so when they actually witness the process, they feel more comfortable. Plan your trip with any stops on your move and tell your children about how long the trip will take.
Allow your children to choose favorite games, books or videos to watch during the drive to your new home. Make them feel important by being in charge of these items on moving out day and let them have a say in how they want to arrange their room on moving in day in your new community. A feeling of being involved in the process helps build up confidence.