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Just as it is for us, for children, life in the Forces is a topsy turvy one. 


If you read what Wikipedia had to say about Forces Children you might be quite shocked. And we quote


“As adults, forces children can share many of the same positive and negative traits developed from their mobile childhoods. Having had the opportunity to live around the world, they can have a breadth of experiences unmatched by most teenagers. Regardless of race, religion, nationality, or gender, they might identify more with other highly mobile children than with non-mobile ones. Some can struggle to develop and maintain deep, lasting relationships, and can feel like outsiders to civilian culture. Their transitory lifestyle can hinder potential for constructing concrete relationships with people and developing emotional attachments to specific places, which may later develop into psychologically developmental disorders (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder, etc.). But most assimilate quickly and well as they have to do so with each move.”



Now if you spoke to real Forces families, they would tell you that yes life in the Forces has its problems and that the constant moving is extremely difficult to deal with. But it is not impossible. Lets be honest, all families have their hard times and not just those ones like us. In fact, in some ways, the forces life makes for a tighter family bond. 


Besides their parents deploying (see our deployment section), it is the constant moving that will be hardest to deal with. The general sense of confusion and disorder can make moving both physically and emotionally stressful. While packing, moving, dusting, and sorting take a toll on energy and attention, short tempers and chaos drain the emotions. There is also an element of grief. No matter how eager you are to move, there will be places, things, and people that you will all miss.


Some aspects of your child's personality may get more pronounced. For instance, if your child tends to worry and get nervous, you are likely to see more of this behaviour until the child begins to feel more comfortable in the new surroundings.  Back to the roller coaster emotions!  One day your child may be thrilled and excited, then blue and depressed the next. As always, chat to them as much as you can. It’s okay to tell them that you feel the same.


Try not to focus on the impact Forces life has on the children but on the impact you as a family have on your children. Happiness is infectious and if you can focus on the positives, you can make an experience more positive.


Don’t panic if you have just received your posting order and you are too late for the schools submissions. The government have been working to help service families and changes to the schools admission code will help get your children placed in suitable schools, even if you have missed the deadline.


That said, it is a massive upheaval for children to leave their friends and familiar surroundings to start again in a new area.  Try not to expect too much too soon and expect that you are going to have a period of “settling in” each time.


If the moving around does prove too much and you think Boarding School may be the answer, then go online and read more on what support is available through the Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) programme. They will help you weigh up the pros and cons of this huge decision.

Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA)  




Access to childcare can prove difficult for service families. Good community run pre-schools and nurseries get booked up quickly and


Childcare Vouchers

Don’t forget you can claim your childcare vouchers through Sodexho. You can save hundreds of pounds by paying for vouchers before you pay tax. It sounds complicated but it really isn’t. Someone paying 40% tax claiming the maximum amount of vouchers can save £1195 a year!


Check out their website - for that money - it is well worth a look.