Amanda Trimillos and Stacy Allsbrook-Huisman, authors of Seasons of My Military Student: Practical Ideas for Parents and Teachers offer reassuring words to military families concerned about the latest DOD measures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The authors’ advice: Stay calm. Make a plan for what is known, even if it’s short term. Be flexible and patient about what is unknown for now.
Military families like Amanda’s and Stacy’s are feeling the effects of the DOD restrictions, announced March 11, 2020, on travel to certain locations, holds on PCS moves, and school closures.
Amanda and her family are preparing to PCS from Germany back to the States, while the DODEA schools the four Trimillos children attend are considering a move to virtual classes in the coming days or weeks. Germany is designated a Level 3 country by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Amanda says she and her family are staying focused on what they can do instead of what they don’t know.
“I’m calming my kiddos by telling them what we will do if school is canceled,” says Amanda. “Their teachers are making plans for virtual platforms to keep school going if the kids have to stay home. For our family, we have a plan to stay indoors if necessary and a plan to go for long walks or hikes if we can go outdoors. I went to the library and loaded up on books to keep them reading. They are taking turns on the computer for virtual assignments and educational games.”
Amanda says her children are beginning to look forward to whatever comes next, knowing they are in a secure environment at school or at home, even if their move is delayed. Meanwhile, she is giving her children information that is tailored to their ability to understand and need to know.
“When talking about the virus with my kids,” says Amanda, “I always start the conversation with them telling me what they already know. Then we add to that with age-appropriate discussions. I can go into a little more depth for the older ones.”
Stacy’s family is preparing for a move within the U.S., and faces similar concerns about school closures and moving delays. She emphasizes that staying calm is the best thing for everyone.
“Look to reliable sources for the latest information, especially your chain of command,” says Stacy. “In an environment like this, things are bound to change quickly. In military life, we learn to be flexible and responsive, and those are skills we will all need in the coming days and weeks. Our family is staying focused on the positive adventure of moving and not the negative.”
See the latest updates, measures, and guidance from the Department of Defense at Corona Virus: DOD Response.