How to Be an All-In Friend
As a MilKid, you learn how to make new friends with every PCS move. What you might not know is that you have the power, right now, to make a huge difference in the lives of your buddies by being an all-in friend.
An all-in friend has their buddy’s back and does what they can to keep them safe.
Service members who are all-in friends say, “I’ve got your six,” which is another way to say they are watching your back and looking out for you. Service members back up their words by checking on their friends and helping to keep them safe — and MilKids can do this too.
Here are five ways to be an all-in friend:
1. Ask if your friend is OK. Text, call, or chat with your friend and ask them how they are doing.
2. Listen to what your friend says. Focus on what they say and try your best to understand how they’re feeling.
3. Remind your friend that if somebody is hurting them, it isn’t their fault. Sometimes kids blame themselves when parents or family members hurt or neglect them, but it is never the child’s fault.
4. Support your friend so they don’t feel alone. Encourage them to talk to a trusted adult.
5. Tell a trusted adult. If you think one of your friends is in an unsafe situation, even if you aren’t 100 percent sure, talk to a trusted adult.
Build your circle of trust
All MilKids need a circle of trusted adults. These should be people who you can go to at any time if you need to talk or are struggling with something. Because of PCSing, you’ll need to add new people to your circle of trust at each new duty station. You can still call a trusted adult who lives far away, but it’s good to have someone close by to turn to as well.
Trusted adults may include your mom, dad, or another family member, as well as a neighbor, teacher, or coach. Or it may be a child and youth behavioral military and family life counselor at your school or Military and Family Support Center.
Your trusted adult will likely know how to get the right help for your friend. The adults in our military community can turn to the Family Advocacy Program, where there are experts who can help your friend and their family get help and heal.
You and your friends have the right to be protected, cared for, and safe with adults. Share the 5 Ways to Help a Friend You’re Worried About video with your friends so they will know how to look out for you too.
- Military Community & Family Policy