There are many military families that serve our country daily, raising their families in unique circumstances. The majority of those families live in military housing on bases around the world. If you are new to "base living" and are going to be raising your children in military quarters, there are some things that you will need to understand. This is a very different lifestyle than the one you have experienced in civilian housing and should not be approached in the same manner. The following are some tips for raising children on a military base:
Children must be taught to show respect for their parents and other adults, especially when out and about around the base. Children are a direct reflection of their parents and if they are poorly behaved, their parents will appear less than adept. Respect is a huge element of military life and extends from the soldiers' respect shown to their officers all the way down to the children's respect for parents.
Remember that old phrase, "It takes a village to raise a child"? Well, there are few places that you will find this in action to a higher degree than on a military base. There is a camaraderie there that is indescribable if you've never seen it working. Parents truly do watch out for one another's children, so be sure that you become familiar with who belongs to who and keep your eyes open for trouble.
There is also a helpfulness on military bases that you won't often find in other places. Get to know your neighbors and offer any help that you see they are in need of. Your kindness will almost always be reciprocated. Especially when soldiers are away on deployment, this will be a great asset to everyone. Trading childcare, having play dates, and just supporting one another as parents is very important to life on base.
Military bases have some areas that are off limits to civilians. Educate your children on where these areas are and be sure that they fully understand that they are not to enter any of them under any circumstances. If they do, the consequences could be severe and not just on them but on the enlisted parent.
Become involved as a family within the community. The military offers a lot of activities and social gatherings that are designed for fun and fellowship among the soldiers and their families. When you are living on the base, you don't want to become known as the family that is unsociable. This will not reflect well on the enlisted man or woman, and besides, you will be missing out on all the fun!
Keep your children as tidy as possible. Of course, the average little one is going to get messy on occasion, but hair should be kept neatly trimmed, clothes should be in good repair, and at least once per day, the children should be in a clean state.
The military environment is very structured, big on respect, and expects their soldiers to run their families well in the same manner. Life on a military base requires some things that civilian parenting does not, but they are all things that are profitable for children to be raised with anyways. There are many benefits to being raised as a "military brat" and there are also many expectations for raising them.