Review of Military Youth on the Move Website

While I was reading up on some topics related to my kiddos, I stumbled upon the MYOM website. I found it useful, so I thought I would review Military Youth on the Move and share what I found with all of you.

History of Military Youth on the Move

Military Youth on the Move (MYOM) is a Department of Defense Website designed to make PCS moves easier for school aged military kids. This website was designed to support children of military service members who were making a Permanent Change of Station move. This website came into existence as a result of the 1996 National Defense Authorization Act, which required military installations to provide support services to preteen and teenage children of military service members.

Who is Military Youth on the Move for?

This website is for all school aged children and their parents. Information is divided into age appropriate sections of Kids (age 6 to 8), Preteens (age 9-12), Teenagers (13 to 17), and Parents. Information is written on a level that each age level can easily read and understand.

What information can I find on MYOM?

The sections for children each contain sections titled: The New Kid, My New School, Money Matters, Leadership, and Get Involved. The teenage section also contains additional section, What’s Next? Within each of the sections, articles on the topic address common concerns and give tips to make the transition easier. Some article titles include: Making New Friends, Homework Help, and Become a Good Leader.

The section for parents has even more useful information. Articles on moving with pets, OCONUS moves, family activities, and family financial guidance. The parent section is divided into sections to make it easy to navigate as well.

If you enjoy podcasts, a whole section of them are available as well. Great for those who don’t like to read. (The reading is pretty light weight, though!)

How easy is it to navigate MYOM?

This website has an easy to follow menu with clearly labeled sections for kids, preteens and teens. Additionally, if you just want to read about a particular topic you can click on the buttons across the top to find that information. It is easy to find what you want quickly, which is a big plus.

Bottom Line

MYOM is an easy to use website with good basic information covering a range of topics that are very relevant to military families. With the podcasts, videos and networking groups that are available in conjunction with the site; it is definitely worth a visit.

 

Child Care For PCSing Military Families

If you’ve ever tried to pack boxes with the help of preschool children, this post is for you! You can get some help finding child care when you are working on packing and unpacking those moving boxes. This is great news for those of you who are up to your necks in a move! The Department of Defense is paying for military service members to use the service Sittercity for free.

Read more about this program here at Stars and Stripes and at Sittercity.

This program provides not only referrals to child care providers, but also to housekeepers, tutors, senior care providers and pet care providers. It can be used for any occasion, not just a PCS, so it will be a great resource for those with deployed spouses!

The Army, Navy, Airforce and Marines are all a part of this program.

If you are moving and are looking for someone to watch your child…or your pet, give this program a try!

How a Move Effects Military Kids

Photo by photostock freedigitalphotos.net

Anything that forces me make to make big life changes tends to be low on my list of favorite activities. Moving, of course, is one of those activities. No matter how much I want to leave the location I am living or how much I want to get to a new location; the transition is stressful.

As a mother, I know that transition is doubly hard for my kids. I want to protect my children from the difficulties in life, but in a military family moving is unavoidable. So, how hard is a military move on kids? After all, kids are pretty resilient, aren’t they?

I started to dig up research on the topic of military children and moving. There was a lot of research. Unfortunately, much of the research I found was older. I am sure some of it is still relevant, but I wanted to woo everyone with new stats. After spending too much time looking for some concrete data, I finally settled on sharing bits of information from a fact sheet (6/2012 EDIT: This fact sheet is no longer available, I will add a new resource as soon as I find a good one!) I found on the Military HOMEFRONT website.

 Important Findings of Research on Military Children and Moving

  • Military children move four times more often than an average child in the U.S.
  • For most children, there are no long term negative effects related to frequent military moves.
  • Children who move frequently often participate in more social activities because they have more opportunities to do so.
  • Teenagers who move are more likely to show symptoms of depression.
  • Teenage girls are more upset by moving because of the loss of friendships.
  • Academic performance tends to decline after a move.
  • Kids who were prepared for a move ahead of time adjusted better.
  • The most important factor that helps kids adjust well to a move is the relationship they have with their parents.

When I started researching this blog post, I expected to find tons of negative facts about the impact of moving. Instead, I found what was pretty common sense stuff. Yes, moving is difficult for children, but they adjust. Just as we do.

Tips on Making a Move Easier For Your Military Child

  • Be up front about the move. As soon as a child learns about the move, they begin their adjustment. If they have more time to adjust, the relocation will likely go more smoothly.
  • Provide as much information about the new location as you can. If it is feasible, make a trip to the new duty station to scope it out.
  • Allow your child to make choices about what items they will keep with them while in transition. A favorite book or toy will be comforting.
  • Deal with your stress away from your child. Whether you are a military service member or the trailing spouse, your stresses can easily overshadow the needs of your child. Find ways to cope that allow you to be present for your children when you are together.
  • Be there for your child. The biggest predictor of how your child does with a relocation is the relationship they have with you.

A Positive Note About Moving and Military Children

One thing I read in  a lot of the research about military children is that they are resilient. All the moves, adapting to new locations and dealing with deployments seem to give them confidence in their ability to survive new experiences. Military kids are strong and able to deal with many challenges, especially with supportive parents.

Even if you don’t much like moving and the chaos that comes with it, make sure you discuss it with your kids. Your support and caring seems to be what makes it a more positive experience for your children!