When you're about to undertake the daunting process of a move, it's easy to become absorbed solely with the tasks at hand while ignoring the bigger picture. You're about to uproot your life again, move to a new base and confront all the things that come with such a transition. In order to prepare yourself for a new home on a new base, follow these tips.
1. Do your research
First of all, read as much as you can about conditions on the new base whenever you get a free moment. This will allow you to go into the new station with a realistic perspective and know what to expect in this new chapter of your life.
2. Use your network
Beyond reading what you can, talk to people! Do you have a friend of a friend who was once stationed at this base? Reach out. This will also help you get a firsthand account of what it's like to live at this base, and you'll be able to prepare yourself accordingly.
3. Talk to the kids
Military families may be used to moving often, but that doesn't necessarily make it easy on anyone. Explain the Permanent Change of Station (PCS) in as clear of terms as possible to your children, and tailor your talk with them to an age-appropriate level. Very young children will obviously not understand much, and the older your kids are, the more you'll need to explain.
4. Get everyone involved
Enlist the kids' help with packing their rooms and researching the new base. Doing things together on the move will help them feel like they're a part of the decision and also that relocation will bring your family closer together.
5. Encourage an open dialogue
Don't make your kids feel like they need to put on a brave face: Encourage any questions they may have, even if they're tinged with negative or ambivalent feelings on the move.
6. Find new activities
One of the best ways to meet people in a new place is to join clubs and groups dedicated to common interests. For both you and your kids, this will be an important part of your new life. To ease the transition, look into offered activities before you make the move.
7. Take opportunities to say goodbye
Lastly, don't get so wrapped up in your moving checklist that you don't give your friends, family and loved ones the opportunity to say goodbye. Sometimes a change of address card can be a fun, helpful way to let your friends know that you're leaving.
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