As a Marine or spouse, PCSing has likely become routine. However, for children, this may be an exciting, yet challenging time. Try these things to help your family as you gear up for that next big move:
Before you go:
- Talk, talk, talk! Have open dialogue with your child about the move. Sharing details will allow your child to feel involved and begin accepting this change. Create visual aids such as countdown calendars or map out your journey. For your teen, encourage self-care.
- Find Familiar Activities. Does your child play sports, love roller-skating, or enjoy the outdoors? Together you can research familiar and new activities that your child can engage in to feel connected to their new home.
After you arrive:
- Set up their bedroom. Bedrooms can be a calming space for children of all ages. Setting up their bedroom early on can create a safe haven. Their blank canvas may even generate creativity and establish focus in the midst of change.
- Get to Know the Neighborhood. Unpacking can be time-consuming, so take a break and explore your neighborhood. Find your local playground, connect with your neighbors, or find a new favorite ice cream spot. Establishing familiarity can be exciting and bring comfort to your child during a move.
- Stay Connected. PCSing does not have to be a permanent goodbye. Staying connected is easier to do with the technology we have at our fingertips. Plan video play dates, write letters, or share photos with friends at past duty stations, so children don’t feel a sense of loss.
For more resources on how to ease your child into a PCS transition, visit your local Child and Youth Programs, or talk to your installation EFMP Office.