JBER family writes children’s book to ease moving stress for kids
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska (KTUU) - For a child growing up in a military family, the word “PCS” is a common phrase.
For a kid, it means it’s time to pick up again and move. In military terms, it stands for Permanent Change In Station.
According to the National Military Family Association, the average military child will attend between six to nine schools from kindergarten to their senior year in high school. It is a reality that the Pease family’s children know pretty well.
“We’ve been in Cheyenne, Wyoming. We’ve been in Tampa Florida. San Antonio, Texas, and now Anchorage, Alaska,” Kim Pease said, listing off all the places the family has lived.
Over the past 13 years, Kim has packed up her family’s life four times, alongside her husband, who serves in the U.S. Air Force, and their children. The longest they’ve spent at one location has been four years, Kim said.
Kim said their most recent stationing in San Antonio, Texas, was a struggle as they searched for resources to help explain to their children what PCS was.
“When we were getting ready to PCS the last time, we couldn’t find very many resources for our kids,” Kim said. “They kind of had a hard time leaving all their friends.”
Inspired and looking for answers, Kim and her husband Ryan started writing one night in 2018.
“We were kind of just laying in bed talking about it and got inspired to put words on paper and we kind of made this poem,” Ryan Pease said. “Kind of put it in a drawer for a couple years. Then we moved here and decided, hey maybe we should get this published.”
In November 2021, the couple revived the project, and by January, their book was published and on the market.
Titled “It’s Time To Say Goodbye,” the book tells the story of a boy who is in the process of moving. The character looks back on his time in his neighborhood and the relationships he has created. The book highlights the struggles he has about saying goodbye, but also the excitement he later develops as he discovers the new adventure that awaits him.
“We wanted them to know, ‘Hey it’s going to be okay, you’re going to make friends,’” Kim said.
The book also includes discussion topics near the end for families to use to help start conversations with their children. Topics are divided into age groups, so both teens and younger children can participate, and includes a page with emotional cues, so children can point out how they are feeling.
Ryan said their youngest son Hunter was diagnosed with autism while stationed in San Antonio and he struggled to understand what PCS was. Ryan said the book allowed him to have a visual way of understanding what PCS is and how to control his emotions.
“Having something that he could visually use to kind of help him with those emotions and dealing with some of that stuff, didn’t really exist for military families,” Ryan said. “... We will definitely plan on using that next time we PCS and I think it will be a huge help for him.”
The Pease family hopes that in the future, their book will be available to military families stationed around the world. Those interested in reading “It’s Time To Say Goodbye” can find the book on Amazon.
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