As a military family you know that moving is a part of the deal. You may move every 3 to 4 years. This means your children will have to be the new kid every few years. With that comes a lot of emotions and could lead to some frustrating situations.
I did not grow up in a military family. I lived in the same house from the time I was 5 years old until I moved out at age 18. I went to elementary school, junior high and high school with a lot of the same people. I was never the new girl. I never knew what it was like to go into a new classroom not knowing anyone. I never had to search for friends in the third grade because I had just moved to that city from a different state.
If you are in a military family you might be worried about your children having to be the new kid every few years.
You might worry about them being bullied. You might ask yourself if being a military kid will make it more likely that they will be bullied? That can happen to a new kid who is just trying to figure out their place in the new school.
The fact is, bullying can happen anywhere. I saw and experienced it in my own non-military childhood. Bullying can happen on military bases all over the country. Wherever there are kids, bullying can be an issue. However, that doesn’t mean that as a military child your son or daughter has accept it.
Here are some things you can do with your child to help them overcome possible situations where they could be bullied.
It is a good idea to go over what is going to happen with the move before you actually get there. Tell your children about their new school and even the route to get there. Let them know that it’s OK to be nervous and that most people are when they go to a new school. Letting them know that it is normal to feel the way they do can go a long way in helping them have a lot of confidence on that first day. The less lost they feel the easier it will be for them to reach out to others and not feel so alone.
Teach them to seek out other children that look friendly and to not be afraid to say hi to a student that might become a new friend. Go over different ways they can talk to others and which questions they can ask to get to know someone. This will help them feel more comfortable when they are trying to find a new friend.
You also want to let them know what they can do if they are bullied. Explain who they should talk to if they experience bullying and where to go for help.
Even if your child is not the new kid it is a good idea to teach them how to treat others and how to be a friendly person to everyone you might meet. Explain to them that the new girl or boy in their class might become their best friend if they are open enough to really get to know them.
Moving is stressful and being worried about your child at a new school can be hard. Like a lot of other things in the military world, being prepared can go a long way in making your child feel comfortable.