I'm not part of a military family, but I will say that I have the utmost respect for the moms and dads who stay at home to take care of the family because I've witnessed first hand how difficult it can be! I'm posting in this forum section because I think military families might have more experience with moving, and I would appreciate some advice!
I recently moved with my 3-year-old daughter to a new city so I could attend university. The transition came with a new apartment and new daycare. My daughter and I visited the new city about a month before we moved permanently so I could show her the new apartment and explain which room would be her new room. We also met the new daycare provider. I was always very open with her and made sure she understood we were moving (as best as she could). I drove to the new city and she flew in a few days later with her grandma. I had the apartment set up, as well as her new room, and made sure he favorite toys were visible. I did everything I knew how to make the transition as easy for her as possible.
We spent the first few days going to the beach and seeing new things around our apartment. She seemed to love it here! Now, after two weeks at her new dayhome (6 hrs/day), her behavior is getting worse and worse. She doesn't listen anymore and throws tantrums when she wants something. Before, she was generally a well-behaved child but now she just seems soooo unhappy! Her daycare has four other children, all of whom are very quiet and well-behaved, and the daycare provider is sweet and nice. Also, our routine in the evenings hasn't changed and I'm always with her when she's not at the dayhome.
Her dad is coming to visit in another couple weeks, and we Skype with him often, so I don't know if it has something to do with her missing him. (We are separated and she usually sees him about 10 days/month.)
If anyone could give me advice on how to make this transition easier on her, I would really appreciate it!
Not really anything else I can think of that you are not already doing. Maybe her dad visiting will help. Consider marking the day he to arrive on a calendar, then have your daughter cross off each day at bed time - it might make it a bearable wait for her. If you are able to go back for visits, let her know that some day you will do that (make it a little more concrete, like at Christmas time or sometime before your birthday, etc).
Just continue to understand that this is hard on her - but also don't let her get away with naughty behavior. Tell her that you understand she misses her old home, but also that being mean will not help.
Talk with her, she might be able to tell you in some way what is making her so sad.
State Certified Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
New Mom as of March 2009!
It could be missing Dad, it could be the change, it could just be her age. It sounds like you're doing the best you can, and I'm sure this phase will pass.
Proud to be an Army Wife
& Mommy to Roman and Keira
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