As a parent, you know that moving from location to location has a great effect on children. Although we know that kids will bounce back and find adventure in a new home, new friends, and a new school, they still have to transition and experience the real “impact” of moving.
Permanent Change of Station, or better known as PCS, is the official relocation of an active duty military member — along with any family members living with him or her — to a new duty location, such as a military base.
Military Moves Impact on Kids
Currently, there are 2,000,000 military-connected children in America. Military families move on an average of every 2 and 3 years, which means that about 500,000 military children change schools annually. Every school district in the US has military-connected children. Now let’s look at the real impact of changing a duty station for children.
One Move Equals the Following:
— a change of address
— a change of school
— a change of teachers
— a change of friends
— a change in schedules
— a change in routines
— a change in neighborhood
— a change in activities
— a change in housing
This study discovered that children in military families who experience PCS have an increase in the following mental health problem:attention-deficit, conduct disorders, self-injury, and suicidal behaviors.
The study indicated that geographical moves are reported to have an adverse effect on the children’s mental health. Since PCS is typical in military families, the results were somewhat surprising.
Moving Can Cause Children Stressors
R. Scott Benson, M.D., a child psychiatrist in Pensacola, FL and a former speaker of the American Psychiatric Association Assembly, said, “it showed that these children experience these moves as stressors.” Parents should weigh in on the effects of a move on their children and give consideration to their developmental needs, Benson explained.
While PCS isn’t associated to mental health problems for all children, it’s important for parents and teachers to acclimate children during and after PCS. Wondering what you can do?
There are Some Great Resources Out There
As a veteran-owned company, we know the impact on the kids first-hand and found some great resources for all the Military Parents out there. Below are some great resources we have found for military parents!
1. Here you will find real life stories and resources to help you navigate your military life: https://blog.militaryfamily.org
2. This resource provides PCS relocation information, job opportunities for family members, coupons, and more valuable resources for military families: http://militaryoneclick.com/tag/pcs-and-relocation/
3. This resource focuses on 24/7 online support for military parents and children. You can find educational programs for children, health and wellness tips, financial and legal advice, and more: http://www.militaryonesource.mil