By Carla Olivo, Marine Spouse
Military brats tend to be as resourceful as their parents, coping and many times embracing the change that is inevitable with the military lifestyle. We often refer to them as the “Silent Heroes”. You may have heard the phase, “Military kids serve too”.
8 WAYS MILITARY BRATS CAN FIT IN AT A NEW DUTY STATION
One of the biggest concerns for parents during a military PCS is how well their military brats will adjust to their new surroundings. For the kids themselves there are concerns about finding their place to fit in at this new location. As the new kid on the block, will they be able to find friends? Will this new school and new neighborhood ever feel like home?
#1 Learn as much as you can about your new location
Go to PCSgrades.com to check out neighborhoods and schools. By reading reviews written by fellow military families, you can learn a lot about your new duty station.
#2 Visit your new school
My daughter is an avid reader so the first thing she wants to check out is the school library. The nerves about moving always settle down after we visit her new school library or the local public library. This is “home” to her.
#3 Go to work
For military teenagers, finding a part-time job or babysitting is one way to become part of the community rather quickly. Jobs may become available towards the end of the summer when college students head back to school.
#4 Back to Church
Military brats of all ages can find new friends by joining a church, club or a sports team. Having a common interest can often lead to fast friendships!
#5 Take a Dip
Take a break from unpacking those boxes and hang out at the local pool. A quick conversation at the snack bar can often lead to future get togethers or at the very least, a familiar face at the bus stop come fall.
#6 On Base Amenities
Check out what your local Base or Post has to offer. Youth Centers and MWR offices offer a wealth of information about activities and clubs for kids.
There are any number of volunteer slots that need to be filled at your local school, church, or shelter. You may have a Fisher House, or USO center nearby that has volunteer opportunities. Many bases/posts have thrift shops that need help. Giving of your time is a great way to meet other like-minded people in your community!
#8 Be Positive, Be a Good Listener, and Be YOURSELF*!
(*Crowd-sourced from our military brats)
What other tips would you add to this list?
Carla Olivo has garnered numerous TV industry awards including the Associated Press award for Spot News Reporting, and Documentary Reporting. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, a retired USMC Lt. Colonel, their two children.