When your son gets a tummy ache or scrapes a knee, you take him to the doctor. When your daughter chips her tooth, you take her to a dentist. But where do you go when your child’s woes are a result of parents who are away on deployment for months at a time; frequent moves that involve changing schools and leaving friends behind; and parents returning home with combat-related injuries?
A behavioral health specialist is always a good choice. But you can also turn to online resources to help you help your children cope with whatever military life might bring their way. Military children have demonstrated courage, strength and resilience in challenging times. In honor of Month of the Military Child, we assembled resources that help encourage those instincts. And they support you, the caregivers, as you help the children you love adjust to military life and all it offers.
“The Big Moving Adventure” Mobile App
The average military child moves six to nine times between kindergarten and high school. “The Big Moving Adventure” mobile app, developed by National Center for Telehealth and Technology and Sesame Workshop, lets children create a Muppet friend to help prepare them for the common occurrence of military moves. The app shows children some of the things they can expect during important steps in the moving process, such as packing, saying goodbye and getting used to a new home. To help military parents who also face unique challenges during a move, the app has a separate section that offers additional move-related topics and tips.
“Parenting for Service Members and Veterans” Course
This free online course features key tools to strengthen parenting skills and help military parents reconnect with their children. Parents work through issues such as reintegrating into the family after a deployment; discover positive approaches to discipline; and learn strategies for parenting when you have emotional and physical challenges. The course includes videos, interactive activities and parenting tip sheets. Visit its accompanying Facebook page where additional resources on parenting are shared.
“Military Kids Connect”
The “Military Kids Connect” website offers videos, message boards, personal stories, games and more to help kids learn how to cope with the realities of military life in a positive and engaging environment. There’s also information and resources to help parents and educators understand what it takes to support military children at home and school. Follow “Military Kids Connect” on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest from the website and other related resources.
- Visit the Families section of the Real Warriors Campaign website for articles on helping children cope with challenges associated with deployments and reunions, and adjusting to changes throughout the deployment cycle.
- Whether you’re a parent looking for information on child care or child development, or a pre-teen or teen looking for tips on saving money or ways to get involved in your community, the Children, Youth & Teens section of the Military OneSource website offers resources, tools and articles for the entire family.
- Sesame Workshop’s “Talk, Listen, Connect” educational resources help children and their families through deployments, combat-related injuries, and the death of a loved one. Videos, storybooks, workbooks, educational games, furry friends and more make it easier for military parents and their young children to cope with the transitions of military life.
What resources or tips help your military family? Share below!