Kudos to military kids

Back in 1986, the US Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger, declared April as the Month of the Military Child to recognize and appreciate the children of military families who cope with the challenges of frequent moves, family separations, and life transitions.

I haven’t before mentioned this here on my blog because I have tried to keep my children’s life private. However, now they are both adults and I’d like to take some time to tell you how amazing they both are.

Two years ago, I wrote Leaving the Nest, about how our oldest child moved to university in Canada while we were living in England. I wrote again about how moving from university residence into an apartment. The kid is doing very well – maintaining high marks at school, volunteering at an animal shelter, and doing housework including cooking all meals, cleaning, laundry, etc. and a “cat parent” too!

Our youngest, having done secondary school in three different countries in three years, meant that she had to collect a few more credits in order to graduate from high school in Canada. This summer she heads off to college in Kingston while we remain in Winnipeg. She is really looking forward to her program and already has a list prepared of things she has to take with her.

Here are a few qualities that I’ve seen in my military children:

Resourcefulness: Living far away from extended family, military children learn to cope with many things on their own. They are not hesitant to call on a friend for assistance when needed.

Alone-ness: Military kids are used to living in places where they haven’t yet made any friends or watching their friend move away. They are comfortable being alone.

Friend-making: Military kids move very often and are used to making new friends in new places. Because they know their time is short in a specific location, they learn to judge character quickly.

World Issues: Because military kids have been to many different places and met many different people, they tend to have a larger world view and can understand the global impact of issues such as war, immigration, political systems, etc.

Travelling: Navigating through airports, train stations, foreign cities is a challenge but military kids seem to be quite capable of doing this without encountering too much difficulty. They are aware of personal security issues and know how to keep themselves safe. From the time they were about 8 years old, they were able to pack a suitcase for overnight or for several weeks.

Moving: Our kids moved seven times before they were 20 years old. They know how to pack and unpack everything in a house. They can get set up in their own place with ease.

Organizational Skills: Living a military life means planning, lists, and being on time. I’ve actually had both of my children ask how civilians manage without having these skills.

Levelheadedness: Don’t panic — plan! If there is a change of any type, military kids can cope. They are calm and cool in a crisis because they are so used to adapting in varying situations.

If there are any other qualities you’ve noticed that are unique to military children, add them in the comments!

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