Growing up in a military family comes with some serious trials and tribulations that kids from civilian families hardly ever come across with. Military children have to adjust to multiple life-changing circumstances — something that’s quite challenging, to say the least.
At Easytobemom.com, we occasionally discuss what it means to be a military child, as well as what parents (and society) can do to help. If you’re up for it, you can always head to our blog for some handy tips on the topic. In this post, we’re going to cover some of the most frequent challenges military children face.
1. Military-Induced Parental Separation
For the majority of families in the U.S., long periods of separation between kids and their parents are not typical, unless it’s about a military family. Usually, deployments result in up to 12-month long separations from a parent. 1-month long separations are even more frequent. Military-related parental separations evoke an array of mixed feelings in the kids, such as sadness, anxiety, as well as pride and anger. Many military kids suffer from chronic stress and depression because of missing their deployed dad or mom.
2. Overwhelming Level of Responsibility
Military-induced separations oftentimes lead to a shift in family structure and responsibilities. It means that adolescent children in military families often have to cope with a lot more obligations and responsibilities compared to their civilian friends. While it’s not as stressful as parental separation, a sudden increase in responsibilities causes a child to feel pressure, anxiety, and sometimes even rage. Make sure you talk to your kid whenever their set of tasks and responsibilities feels way too overwhelming to them.
3. Frequent Moves Between Homes & Schools
Military kids have to get used to moving to new areas a lot, as well as find new friends, adapt to new teachers, classmates, and generally be the new kid at school all the time. Military-induced frequent moves and transitions do take their toll on military kids. In the majority of cases, they affect the school-aged kids’ academic success. Furthermore, frequent moves often make it hard for military kids to form and maintain friendships. As a result, they may end up feeling lonely and socially isolated.
Cutting to the Chase
While there are certain advantages of having a military family, military children do not choose to experience parental military deployment, excessive responsibility, frequent moves, or extreme loneliness. If your child is going through the aforementioned challenges, make sure you offer them enough support and guidance to help them effectively cope with all the challenges that arise in their life. You will find more info on the topic at EasyToBeMom.com.