When I picked this topic, I really was only thinking about a current event in our lives: Bria’s moving into a new apartment this weekend. As I sit and ponder, though, I realize how truly large this topic is. I could talk about the “moving” or perpetual state of movement kids seem to be in nowadays… or I could talk about movement along a progression… or I could just keep it obvious and true to my original intent: moving,,, from one place to another.
This is the time of year when everyone becomes aware of who is moving and who is staying. In previous years, it was uncomfortable because some students were leaving our school but not moving from our town. This could mean a number of things, but none of them good: a) couldn’t afford the school anymore, b) didn’t like us anymore, c) found something better. Today, I am happy to report that almost all of our students who leave do so because they are moving out of our town. Those staying are free to mourn their move and enjoy as much time left with them as possible.
Moving is very necessary these days. People must go where their jobs take them. Moving children can be tricky, but military children are proof that it can actually influence kids for the better. The trick is to point out all the benefits of the move. New friends, new opportunities, new connections. And in this day and age, it is easy to retain the old friendships through Skype, online gaming, and chat apps.
Moving can be detrimental to a child, though, if the reasons are always derogatory. When people tour our school, I listen carefully to the reasoning behind the desire to move to our school. I recognize that there are things we do that the public schools do not (i.e., early promotion, full-time gifted education, etc.). I don’t count it as derogatory when a parent points out disappointment with what he/she has. As long as the parent is looking for opportunities for his/her child, I can work with him/her. When a parent has nothing but gripes about individual treatment of his/her child, alarm bells start going off in my head. This parent is looking for an environment that is tolerant to the behavior of his/her child specifically. Over the years, I have found that those with big “sob stories,” will eventually end up leaving us with a big “sob story,” too.
Do not feel guilty if your job requires you to move your family. Many of our military children have tried to figure out ways to stay at this school beyond their parents’ transfers. It didn’t work, but I have received word from students still here with which they are in contact that they liked their next school fine and were doing well. Attitude is such a big part of whether or not success is achieved!
I would argue that moving is how we cause the greatest growth. Students are welcome to stay at our school, as long as they are moving. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? The movement about which I am talking here is more related to progress. I don’t want my students stationary. I want them moving toward a goal. If they are not, they are stagnating, and they won’t remain here long.
No matter where your kids attend, if they are moving toward a goal, there is little chance that physically moving will hurt them. We military spouses aren’t necessarily geniuses; we are just doing what we have to do to raise healthy children in a very mobile lifestyle. And most of excel at this. We are the kings and queens of optimism!
Whether you are transient or the fourth generation of your family to live in the same house, helping your child to see the way ahead as optimistic and move along a path toward a goal are the right things to do to help him/her achieve success. Those who move their children every time they are not given everything they want actually stop any movement their children might make toward a goal. One more move is not made as well: they never move out!