Name calling! It happens all the time. Not the mean name calling the neighborhood bully’s heap on our children, more like the labels placed upon our children as we navigate with them through this military lifestyle.
My son answered to the name, “Americano “ on his Italian soccer team…no name, just “the American.”
“Pastor’s kid” was another such label placed upon my son, and the three boys together in the same boat at school form a “support group” for the PK’s.
“One of the military kids” is placed like a scarlet letter upon our kid’s back at school.
Our children are labeled in all sorts of ways, but no label stirs up anxiety and fear in our kids (and, let’s be honest, ourselves) more than the label of “the new kid.”
Another school year has started, and with that, many a military kid will find themselves labeled “the new kid” again this year. If your family is anything like ours, some of your children enjoy the move, virtually unphased by starting a third school in as many years. But for other children, change does not come so easy. Change brings sleepless nights, stomachaches, anxiety and mood swings.
How do we help our children in dealing with the emotions of moving when we ourselves are experiencing those same emotions?
How do we motivate them to embrace change and see the positives that come with being the new kid on the block?
We must look, first, to ourselves and examine how we handle these same issues in our own lives.
Can you honestly say you believe the Lord has led you to this place? That He has a plan for your life and the life of your family?
If you answer yes to that question, you can, with assurance, encourage your children in that same security….knowing our Father in heaven goes BEFORE us, He is in control of our moves (not the US military, as much as the military likes to think so), and He has a reason and purpose for moving us to this place.
Our children are not an afterthought to the Lord.
If you trust the Lord with your plans, trust Him with your child’s as well. The Lord takes special interest in His children and has an exact plan for each of your little ones.
He is fully aware of the challenges our children face as military kids. Trust Him to work out the details.
After all, there really is only one name that we need to claim and wear upon our backs, and that is Child of God.