I never knew how different military children were until our granddaughters lived with us during their mom’s deployment.
When I was a kid my parents moved very often. They just liked to move and experience new surroundings. When I graduated from high school I had been to 13 schools. People would ask me” Is your dad in the military?” I never really thought about it until my granddaughters came to live with us.
My parents would tell me we were going to move about 2 weeks before the move. It was hard saying good bye to my friends and teachers. I hated being the “new girl” in school. But I made an effort and made friends quickly. I can say today I don’t have a problem going to events where I do not know anyone.
My daughter prepares her to her children for months in advance. She take about the possibilities of future moves. She would tell them if you were to go live with grandma and grandpa you will be able to go to my elementary school. You would have your own bedroom and live in the house I grew up in. And instead of only seeing your grandparents once a year on vacation you can live with them. So when our daughter actually deployed our granddaughters we prepared. They had thought about living with us.
The only problem with this preparation is the children can worry about the separation from their parent. They can become anxious and worry about when that time comes.
My granddaughters did adjust very quickly to living with us. Knew we had rules to follow and the these new rules would be different from their mother’s. they accepted they had to follow new rules and never argued about what our rules were compared to their home.
With our daughter’s future departure just around the corner my granddaughter’s household rules will change. My granddaughter’s are now preparing for those changes and I am too. Thinking about how I can help them when I plan on staying with them once a month.
Looking back at our last deployment I do think it’s better to prepare a child for separation, like my daughter is doing. It maybe hard knowing my daughter will be leaving ,but adjusting to our new environment I think will be a lot easier.