The first few weeks

Your son will face a period of adjustment during the initial months of basic military training, especially during the first two weeks of confinement where he suddenly faces a lack of personal freedom. He may:

  • Feel homesick being away for an extended period from family and friends
  • Take some time to find his feet during physical training and build up his endurance
  • Not be used to communal living if he has been used to having his own private space
  • Find it difficult to cope with the high standards of regimentation and discipline

You can expect to notice some character changes in your son as he learns to cope with the initial feelings of anxiety and stress brought about by these new circumstances.

What you can do

As a parent, you can be instrumental in helping your son adjust more quickly to his new reality. If you have always had an open and communicative relationship with him, encouraging him to talk about his feelings may help.

However, be aware that no matter how open your relationship has been, your son may not want to share his feelings with you. There are various reasons for this. He may be embarrassed about not being able to cope. He may also want to protect you from worry.

The best way to help is to do your usual activities together as a family so that he still has that familiar family connection to fall back on.

Check here for signs to look out for that your son is not coping well and needs additional help. If so, do not worry as counselling and other assistance are available.