Military kids. They are strong. They are resilient. They are adaptable. They are well traveled. They are fiercely patriotic. They are bright. They are eager to help out. They are our pride, our joy, our greatest love and our biggest worry.
Sounds like an advertisement, doesn’t it? Super kids. Faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Yeah, no pressure or anything.
Our kids can be all of those things no doubt. Military life molds them into these incredible, resilient little humans. Except when it doesn’t.
Kids and the Ups and Downs of (Military) Life
You see, we have to remember, that military kids are also just that. Kids. Kids that have to deal with everything a typical kid has to deal with. Friendships, popularity, academic achievement, crushes, heartbreak, puberty, hormones and the everyday fears that come with growing up. What sets them apart is that they bear not just the joys, but also the burdens of this military life and all that it entails.
The good, the bad and the downright ugly.
No matter how much we try, we can’t shield our kids from all of the difficulties that we face as we navigate through the ups and downs of military life. We can’t magically make everything better. There is stress that comes from this life. The frequent moves are one that can be difficult for our kids to navigate through. They are often the new kid on the block. Bullies can, and often do, become an issue.
Then there is the stress that comes with being separated from one or both of their parents while they serve our country in far-flung places. That’s tough on all of us, but most of all on our children. When birthdays are missed and bedtime becomes a time for tears and trying to put our little ones back together so they can get much needed sleep. That’s when it hits us.
When we’re alone, thinking about them. That one right there, that hurts. Even harder, when home life is rocked by parents who have changed from post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries and other visible and invisible wounds of war.
So how can we know if our child needs support?