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Moving Tips and Guide for Military Families

Active-duty military members relocate often to other locations in order to complete service. The United States armed forces refer to this location process as a Permanent Change of Station (PCS), which may include domestic and international orders to move to a different military installation in another city, state, and even country. Active-duty military members may live at one location for several months or years before having to relocate again. This often affects family members who move along with their spouse or parent.

Military families move as often as once every three years. Unfortunately, moving causes high levels of stress for everybody, especially young children. Military families can find solutions for easing this stress, however, which can help bring peace and comfort to children when it comes time to move. For instance, it may be wise for parents to find a suitable childcare service or babysitter for their children to keep them occupied while packing. Half of the battle is won by doing this simple step. Ask a friend or family member to watch the kids overnight before and after the move. Unpacking will fly by much quicker if the kids stay busy by playing or sleeping.

Military families go through rough periods of adjustment in their new communities. Children may find a strange neighborhood too scary to make friends at first. As a result, it helps to get in touch with the relocation manager to see what the new base has to offer for military families. Try to remain calm and positive for the kids. Negative attitudes can rub off onto children if they see their parents upset by the move. Explain the move to the kids in a way that will get them excited about their new home. Dive right into social events, including activities sponsored by the community.

Lastly, empathize with the kids by helping them cope with the moving process. Encourage them to keep in contact with old friends via the phone or the internet. This will keep them grounded until they can adjust fully to their surroundings. It will also promote their sociability when it comes to making new friends in the community. As time passes, the kids will have found their place at school, on the playground, and in their own neighborhood.

Military families experiencing setbacks can seek assistance in a variety of places. The majority of military branches offer resources for families, such as relocation allowances, childcare, housing, expense tracking and reimbursement. Inquire with local service members about their recommendations when it comes to certain issues. Their feedback will bring useful leads that will get the ball rolling in the right direction after arriving at the new location. It will also establish new relationships for the relocated service member.

The average family moves once every six years, a figure that nearly doubles for military families. The majority of military families understand that moving is a sacrifice they must make for serving our country. PCS season generates a lot of tension among military families. It also promotes strength and unity among them. While moving to another city, state, or even country may seem stressful, the determination and willpower to work things out through the moving process keep the family unit together. It also means keeping the kids happy until the time comes to move again.


Essential Relocation Websites


Tips and Advice


Moving and PCS Checklists


Other Resources for Moving Military Families



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