Growing up as a military child is a unique experience that comes with both positives and negatives. Military children are raised in an environment that is often characterized by sacrifice, patriotism, and a strong sense of community.
The Pros of growing up as a military child
Military life can present unique opportunities for children to develop their character, broaden their perspectives, and acquire important life skills.
Sense of patriotism
Military children often grow up with a strong sense of patriotism that is instilled in them from a young age. Growing up in a military family means that children are exposed to the ideals and values of their country, which often leads to a deep appreciation for their country's history and culture.
Service children learn to adapt to change and become more resilient having to adapt to frequent moves and the absence of a parent due to deployments. They learn to cope with change and develop strong coping mechanisms to deal with stress, which can be a valuable life skill that can serve them well throughout their lives.
Military children often form close-knit communities on base and have the opportunity to make friends from all over the country or world, who have shared experiences and understand the unique challenges of growing up in a military family. This sense of community can be especially important for military children who are frequently moving to new places and may not have the opportunity to establish long-term friendships in one location.
Military families are often stationed at bases all over the world, which means that military children have the opportunity to live and interact with people from a variety of different cultural backgrounds. This exposure to different cultures and languages can be an incredibly valuable experience for military children. It allows them to broaden their horizons and gain a greater understanding of the world around them.
Being a military child also comes with certain educational opportunities that may not be available to civilian children. Military families have access to scholarships, tuition assistance, and other educational programs that can help military children receive a quality education regardless of where they live. This can be a significant advantage for military children who may face disruptions to their education due to frequent moves.
The Cons of Growing Up as a Military Child
While growing up in a military family can offer positive experiences, there are also some significant challenges that military children may face.
One of the biggest challenges that military children face is the time they spend apart from a parent or family members due to deployments. Deployments can last for months or even years, and during this time, military children may feel a sense of loss and isolation, and experience feelings of anxiety, depression, or anger.
Frequent moves to a new home, school, community, or even a foreign country are a reality for military families and can be challenging for children of any age. These moves can disrupt their friendships and force them to adapt to new social circles, which can be difficult for children who are still developing their social skills and sense of identity.
Interruption to social connections and friendships
One of the most significant sacrifices that military children make is the disruption to their friendships. Frequent moves and deployments can make it challenging for them to make new friends, adjust to a new social environment, and maintain contact with friends from previous postings und establish long-lasting friendships.
Frequent moves may cause disruptions to a child's education. Military children may have to adjust to different school systems, curriculums, and academic expectations, which can impact their academic progress. These factors can lead to lower academic achievement and make it more difficult for military children to stay on track with their peers.
The financial challenges of being a military family can be a significant burden on military children and their parents. Military pay is often lower than that of civilian counterparts, despite the risks and demands of military service, and military families are often faced with additional expenses associated with frequent moves, deployments, and other military obligations. Military children may have to cut back on extracurricular activities or other experiences.
Military kids may be exposed to safety concerns related to the military's mission. They may have to live in areas that are prone to natural disasters, or experience the stress of having a parent or family member in harm's way.
Military children deserve to be honored for their courage, sacrifice, and unwavering support of their military parents and family members. By acknowledging and celebrating their contributions, we can show our appreciation and gratitude for their service.
My Friends and I – Keeping loved ones close
With the help of a My Friends and I book, military children can keep their family and friends close while they are apart. Reading their loved ones’ responses to questions such as "What is your favorite food? What do you like to do in your free time? What songs do you like to listen to? What books do you like to read?”, and looking at their handwriting and photographs, can give them a sense of connection, belonging, and happiness.
The My Friends and I book is a delightful memento of the memories military children create with their loved ones on their journey through military life.
Surprise a military child with a My Friends and I book today.
In celebration of the Month of the Military Child, get 20% off your order the entire month of April with promo code HERO.
Thank you for your service, little heroes!
Photo by Bermix Studio on unsplash.com