My daughter will be leaving August 2015 for Bootcamp. Her younger sister who is 13 will still be at home. Her younger sister has come to my husband and I expressing concern that once her sister leaves she will never hear from her again. I think this is coming from the experience she had with their older sister (age 23) who left at 18 and has not been in touch with us. Long story short. My husband's oldest has many mental health issues from being abused by her mother. I am stepmom to all 3. The oldest 2 are from my husband's first marriage and mom is not in their life. His youngest is from his second marriage and we have a week on week off schedule. It was not a good parting when the oldest graduated and turned 18 because of the problems she caused while still at home. She joined the Air Force and we thought she was going to turn her life around. She did not make it through Bootcamp and was discharged from the Air Force. She was causing the same problems with them that she did at home. We have tried to explain to the youngest that her older sisters are 2 different people and that the middle sister will not abandon her like their oldest sister did.
Sorry if this is a long and confusing story. Just looking for some advice.
So, military life did not suit one sister. And the sister is going into the military. Younger sis is being affected. Am I getting that right?
If so, I am going through something similar. Recently I moved away from home for the first time. My little brother(13) has had trouble dealing with it. My other brother(19) was gone last summer for an internship...so this left the little one feeling very alone.
How to solve it: Communication
No convincing is needed! Actions will work best. It sounds like this little girl receives love though actions. Things like letters and phone calls. Inside jokes. Do they have anything in common? A favorite movie? Music? Anything they have in common now will help bond them over space. So I would talk to the older sis more about how important communication is to the younger one.
Also note she is pre-teen to teen. And it sounds like there has been some turmoil. So her feelings of abandonment, are part of her age and her circumstances. Whenever my little brother acts odd on the phone...I know its just because he sad and doesn't know how to tell me.
I hope this helps! Good luck.
Yes, you have it right. The oldest sister went into the Air Force and did not make it through Boot Camp. The middle sister is going into the Navy and leaves in August 2015. The youngest is the one I am worried about.
We have told the youngest they are all different people and to communicate with her middle sister about her leaving. We have also talked to the middle sister explaining how her younger sister feels and to make more of an effort to spend time with her.
Thanks for replying and it does actually help!
Good! What month in 2015? There is still a lot of time for you guys to get the message across to her.
My oldest is leaving in August 2015 for Bootcamp as well. My younger kids are VERY close to him. He is the best big brother. He is his 16 year sister protector and friend and my youngest boy's best friend. I really worry for both of kids that will still be at home. I'm not sure how to make this easier. I find myself saying "Well this is the last (of whatever)", but this is stinks reminding everyone things will be different. I'm not sure I should be doing that. What are you doing help the situation? I'm wondering if there is anything we can do.
I'm no mom, but I totally relate to you on the "this is the last of everything"! I ounce found myself saying those same words. Because I moved away and left a mom and two little brothers, (13 and 19) at home. The truth is there is nothing much you can do. My mom dealt with her feelings by pulling away from me. She was in denile. So was I.
There is no easy parting. It is stressful because you know its around the corner. If I could go back in time...I would want to have less conversations about "me leaving". That is doom and gloom. Its going to happen. While we need to go through the emotions, spending quality time together in those last days is important.
But remember...its not the end! I'm going home for Christmas! And I went home this Summer too. It will take a while getting used to. I still miss my mom every day. I don't think that will ever go away. But you learn to communicate through the phone.
Hope this helps!
One concrete idea is to discuss what communication is possible during boot camp, and get the younger sibling involved in buying stamps, prepping cards to be sent throughout the eight weeks, activating the phone cards and so on.
Also, if there is a chance for her to go to PIR, be sure to discuss the names on the list, planning the trip, how to make up missed school work. Get her involved in the process.
Just a few little ideas to help with the transition.
We are hoping to include her in the swearing in ceremony and graduation but it will depend on when they are scheduled. My husband shares custody of his youngest with his ex and we have a week on, week off schedule. So if it is on mom's week she won't be able to join us. Plus even if it is on our week if it is during school we still can't take her with us. We have had problems in the past with his youngest missing too much school because mom was always going on vacation so now it is in the agreement that the child cannot miss school for vacation.