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PCSing with Kids: The Basics

Spring time is here, and with that, the Permanent Change of Station (PCS) season begins. While moving can be an exciting time, it can also be stressful for adults and children alike. Use the tips below in preparing for your move.

1. Involve your kids. – As soon as you become aware of your upcoming move, hold a family meeting and share the news with your children. Answer any questions they might have and provide the opportunity for them to express opinions.  Children can help prepare for the move by purging old toys and clothes and deciding on what to pack in their suitcase.

2. Understand their feelings. – Moving can be a stressful and scary time for children. Understanding their emotions and knowing how to help them control their emotions will make the move go smoother.

3. Stay positive. – Kids will feed off of their parents’ energy. Try your best to show excitement about the upcoming move and focus on the benefits to come from the move.

4. Do your research. – Prior to moving, use the Internet to explore your new location. Search for things that interest your children and the family. If you know where you will be living, use maps to walk around your new neighborhood. Take a look at school websites. If you haven’t reached out to your School Liaison, utilize Military OneSource to search for the School Liaison nearest you. MilitaryINSTALLATIONS: U.S. DOD Military Base & Installation Info (

5. Allow an opportunity for kids to say “See you later.” – Kids need a chance to see their friends one last time before they go. Encourage them to share ways to communicate with each other, so they can stay connected, and take lots of pictures.

6. Refer to the PCS Support Brochure and PCS Activity Booklet for more tips and activities for children to do.
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