Originally Posted by lovebug
Instead of feeling support, I am feeling judged. I will say I am not great via text, but I feel like I am having to defend my and DP actions. I am 100% open to ideas and feedback- but dont tell me I dont grasp the idea of what they are going through; as if you have a better idea of their emotions.
I'm sorry. I really don't feel any judgment toward you or the situation and I'm sorry that I came across that I did.
My situation is that I have 2 teens and my husband works in a career that moves people around a lot, also one where he travels a great deal. So we know a lot of people whose lives are like this, too. We aren't military, but are often living close to Air Force bases, and I have had several friends over the years who are military wives (we have a lot in common, and it's easier to make friends with other people who are semi-transient).
Just getting teens through a cross country move emotionally together enough that they don't bomb a year of school or start drinking can be a challenge.
I agree with singin the rain's advice, esp the part about helping the boys find activities they enjoy. This is really, really important, and honestly, more difficult at this age than for younger children. Even for a kid who has a specific thing they LOVE, it will be different after the move and they may quite it. My kids lives revolved around competitive swimming, until we moved and the didn't connect with the new coach. They then felt yet another loss. With a kid who hasn't found something they are passionate about, it can be more intimidating to try new things at this age.
I think volunteer work is really helpful for teens. I lets them see in a real way what they have to contribute to the world. It also gets them around different people and makes their world bigger.
I also think that organizational skills are really important for moms of teens, esp. during a move. Most of us get to start with one kid at a time who didn't have much going on in their lives, and we get to build up our organizational skills slowly. I know this isn't what you were really asking for, but organization is part of what keeps a home running smoothly (with less yelling) and makes it so that kids needs get met.
I use a wall calender with large writing spaces to track major dates at school, dentist/doctor/orthodontist, sports things, cut off for applications (the 16 year old should most likely be taking the SAT this year), DH's travel schedule etc.
I also use a 3 ring binder on the kitchen counter for other types of paper -- insurance reference stuff, school reference stuff, etc. I pick up business cards for their doctors and dentist and other professionals we use and keep them in the binder. Pre-move I would use the binder to make list of what needed to happen ASAP after the move, documents related to the move, etc. printed maps showing the route from the new apt/house to the post office, library, DMV, etc. (the organizational part of setting up lives for teens in a new city where to don't know your way around and don't have friends can be fairly daunting)
Parenting a teen is partly about helping them figure out what their goals are and then providing the frame work for that to happen.
High schools near bases sometimes offer special services to military kids -- understanding how rough it is to move at this age. Ask.
There is a parenting teens board here on mothering, you might find it helpful over the next few years.
As far as helping the 13 year old adjust, helping him find joy in his own life will help. Getting to know him and helping him figure out things to try. He may be a kid who could really benefit from counseling. Being consistent in your love for him even when he is NOT being the least bit lovable.
I honestly don't think it would be wise to consider adding more children to the family for at least a couple of years. Settle in as couple and a family. You'll have enough on your plate esp. if your fiance gets deployed.
I wish you well, and I think it is very admirable that you are willing to play this role in these boys lives. It sounds like they deeply need you, and that you really care about them.