PCS can be stressful for kids, but with the right combination of involvement and activity, you can make PCS fun and exciting for the entire family. One of the best ways to make the transition easier is to let kids get involved. Encourage them to do research on the new location or give them interesting bits of information about where your family will be living.
Military Youth on the Move can be a valuable tool for kids and teens of PCS families. Some tips for getting gets involved in the PCS process involves allowing kids to help pack their own things, letting them say goodbye to friends and creating blogs or social networking groups to stay in touch with friends after moving.
Long flights or road trips can be boring for kids, but you can make the trip easier for everyone with a few simple tips. You can let kids bring along some favorite books or even some audio books from websites like audible.com. If you have a portable DVD player, laptop or car DVD player, watching movies in the car can be a fun way to pass the time. Held-held games, tablets and phones can also be useful ways to pass the time on long trips. Kids may also enjoy license plate games or finding landmarks on the map as the trip progresses.
Once you get to the new location, there are plenty of programs to keep kids occupied and active. Youth centers can be a great place for your children to meet new people, relax and have fun. Some youth centers could include fitness rooms, game rooms, volunteer opportunities, field trips, computer labs, gyms and more. Children can also benefit from Mission Youth Outreach which has partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of America to let military youth participate in the Boys and Girls Club programs at no cost.
Allowing your child to tour the school and explore the area can also help put their mind at ease as they get used to a new location. Be sure to focus on the positive and highlight all of the fun new opportunities your child has available. Another resource that can help kids is MilitaryKidsConnect.org, which helps military youth with the unique challenges that may come with military life. The site includes social networking message boards, interactive maps, camps and more.
There are plenty of ways to make PCS fun and exciting for your children and your family embarks on a different chapter of life.