Family and furniture are about the only things that stay the same in a military family’s life. Military teens like getting to know new people and places, but moving is one of the toughest things about military life. Military children will say goodbye to more significant people by age 18 than the average person will during their lifetime. Children of single service members may have to move in with a grandparent or other relative when their parent deploys.
“Moving made me more adaptable, but sometimes when you move, you leave without saying goodbye to your friends.”
Changing schools and leaving friends behind can pose risks for isolation and affect a teen’s grades and extracurricular activities when college is on the horizon.
These strategies may help them get settled:
Military Teens on the Move—Tips and advice for teens, with stories from teens at www.defenselink.mil/mtom/t4_41.htm.
National Network of Partnership Schools – NNPS provides research-based guidance on engaging parents, schools and community leaders to create student success in schools. NNPS provides technical support for program development to schools serving children from military families as part of the Military Child Initiative at www.partnershipschools.org.
Third Culture Kids World (TCKWORLD) – children who grow up outside their home or parents’ culture are called Third Culture Kids. Read the stories of TCKs at www.tckworld.com.
State Department Information on children in transition from a Foreign Service perspective at www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c21995.htm.
Department of Defense sponsored site with sections for teens, parents and educators at www.militarystudent.dod.mil.
Military Child Education Coalition—provides parents and educators with training and resources to ease students’ transitions at www.militarychild.org.