December 30, 2019

{Guest Post} How to Support Children in Military Families

How to Support Children in Military Families
First, we want to thank all of our military families for their service to make this country safer for all of us to live in on a daily basis. And we could never understand how difficult it is for military parents and especially kids that are apart of military families.

It can be difficult to move from place to place at a moment's notice and not being familiar with the people or places that you will be introduced too. It is important that we not only provide support to families but especially the children as your family unit transitions from place to place.

Think about it children that are apart of military families move up to three times more frequently than the average family.

Communicate with your child's school

It can be difficult for teachers to be conscious of what is going on throughout the year so it is recommended that you communicate upcoming dates of deployment or training with your children's school. By communicating these dates with your children teachers it will help them to stay aware of any upcoming signs of anxiety and stress that the child may begin to exhibit. 

It will also help them to offer the child away to relax or an outlet that helps them to express the feelings that they may have pent up about the impending deployment. The open line of communication will also help in case your child will need to take an absence from school in that they can get the world ahead of time and not miss valuable information while they are away.

Communicating with your child's school will allow their transition into their new school to go as smoothly as they possibly can. Which is important especially since military families are constantly moving from place to place.

Ask questions for clarity

Wherever you move that place will have its own set of rules and procedures. To ensure that your transition continues to be smooth ask any and all questions you may have when it comes to your children's transition.

Ask about the school rulebook and what is expected of your child when they are entering into their new school. Also, it is helpful to ask about the assessment and test dates so that you can make sure your child doesn't miss important things like the SAT or the ACT.

You may also want to inquire about times where you are able to come to your child's school and volunteer or eat lunch with them. This may help your child to begin to feel more comfortable versus just being shoved into a new situation and being scared.

Spend time with other military families

It can be tough making new friends in a brand new are so we urge you to get in contact with other military families and your children can spend time with other children in military families. Sometimes it is easier to identify with people that have been in or are currently in the same situation that your family is in.

Children need friends their own age so that their social interactions skills aren't delayed because of the constant moving. And having friends they can relate to can decrease the likelihood that they will become depressed or face other mental issues that can stem from moving constantly.

Stay on top of educational records

Stay on top of your children's educational records and if possibly send them ahead to the net school electronically to save yourself some time as well as create a paper trail that shows that you did send your child stuff ahead. By staying on top of your child's school records you can reduce any chance that you move and then have to go through various hurdles to obtain the records once you've moved.

The other thing that keeping up with school records does is it allows your children's new teachers to understand where your child may be struggling and where their previous school left off as far as curriculum. This will ensure your child doesn't fall any further behind then they need to which can make catching up and moving on to the next grade difficult.

You can also save time for your children that have IEPs by carrying the documentation with you. This will make sure that the school has some background in case the electronic version from the previous school has not been sent ahead yet.

Other records you may want to bring with you are examples of your child's work. It will help the teachers to understand what your child is good at, needs help with, and if they have any special talents or interests that may make their transition smoother.

Connect with organizations

There are various organizations around the world that specialize specifically in helping military families with their transitions. They offer resources that help military families get connected with others in the community that can offer them the support that they need while they are making such a difficult transition.

This can be helpful of one parent is currently deployed leaving the other parent to do all of the moving and getting the kids settled themselves. The more help you can find the better and these organizations are designed to have already done the work for you so that you don't have to spend valuable time searching for support.

Get ready….

We understand that transitions are tough and can cause everyone involved to become stressed out and anxious over what is to come, but we hope that this article helps to guide you through your transition. We also hope that the connections you make help your children to view transitions as a great thing and begin looking forward to new places and new adventures.

Don't be afraid there is always help that is set up to assist those who risk their lives for us and our families. We can all lend a hand to helping provide adequate support your children need during this crucial time period. Thank you again for your families service. 

Tiffany Simmons is a Georgia mom, wife, and aspiring children’s book writer. Acquiring a BS in Mass Communications & Marketing from the University of West Ga. Leaving a job in the healthcare profession to become a freelance writer for!

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