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3 Tips for Helping Your Family Adjust after a Move

By Operation Homefront

January 21, 2020

Holly Bartlett’s military family had to adjust to a big move. She shares her top 3 tips that helped her family.

After a move from Arizona to the Portland, Oregon area for Tech Sgt. Justin Bartlett’s new full-time job with the Air National Guard, the whole family, including his wife Holly and their three kids, were without their usual support system.

Being in a military family often means having to move far away from loved ones, something Holly said everyone was adjusting to, even though it remained a challenge.

Here, Holly lists the top 3 ways that helped her family transition after the move.

1. Keep Traditions. Most kids need stability and structure to feel safe and confident. Try and keep to the same routines and traditions you had before you moved.  For example, If Friday night was pizza night, make sure to keep the tradition going. Keeping these familiar traditions will allow children to feel secure as they are trying to transition to their new surroundings and way of life.

2. Start new traditions. Starting new traditions will help you and your family learn to accept that things are different now. For us, we moved away from family, so our holidays looked a lot different. Our first holiday without family was Easter. The kids were very sad about not doing an egg hunt with their cousins. So, this year we found jumbo eggs and filled them with treats and notes and mailed them to their cousins. I also made sure to have some games and activities for Easter Day for the kids to do since they did not have cousins to play with.

3. Make Connections. A great benefit to being part of the military is all the amazing services the military and community provide. For military families, Washington state will do an expedited review of teaching credentials. This enabled me to get a job as a substitute teacher right away. Going to work helped me start making connections to people in the community. Many military bases have support groups, mom groups, youth groups, etc., that you can utilize to make social connections. Making new connections to people just makes your world bigger. Life can be tough for military families, don’t try and go it alone. There are people who care and willing to support, you just need to make the right connection!

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