I have the honor of working with military families at bases across the country and in every branch of service. I know how challenging it can be as I am a military mom myself. Although there are challenges for the entire family, sometimes kids feel it the most. One of the things I hear most frequently for military parents is that they feel worried or even guilty about their kids being in tough situations because of their military service.
The challenges that military families face come from all directions. For some families, they could be dealing with long deployments of loved ones or frequent moves. For those families who aren’t moving every few years, those children may see a rotation of friends whose families are moving from base to base. Or they may be the only military kid they know. Losing friends or being without loved ones can be hard for kids and the parents that are left behind.
Younger kids may be able to bounce back quickly from these challenges, but as kids get older, each move can become more difficult, and being “different” feels like the worst thing ever. Starting a new school can be stressful, no matter how much practice they have. Fitting in can be tough, feeling like they left “real life” before the last PCS.
As a military parent, do you experience guilt for putting your children in this situation? Don’t! Guilt doesn’t help, and your kids are learning some excellent life skills.
Sure, military life is filled with challenges, but it can also provide children with a sense of purpose, honor, and service to others. It’s up to us to take those challenges and use them as tools to build a resilient family unit in the face of deployment, separation, frequent moves, new schools and other challenges.
So, the next time you find yourself feeling guilty for how this path you have chosen for your children, watch this video and learn how you can turn this opportunity into resilient kids.