Do you know what Mia Hamm and Shaquille O’Neal, along with many other professional athletes, have in common? They are "military brats". They grew up in military families on military bases. Shaquille O’Neal graduated from Cole High School at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
April is the month of the Military Child. During this month local installations and military communities across the country will plan special events and activities to celebrate the service and resilience of children who have a parent serving in the armed forces. Check out your installation newspaper or Facebook page for events in your area.
Our military kids learn to be resilient through frequent moves, making new friends and living with and loving a parent who happens to be a servicemember.
Here are some resources for military kids to take advantage of not only this month, but all year long:
Military Youth on the Move is your one-stop-shop for advice and info on moving, social life, school, and more.
Child, Youth and Teens – Check out this section on MilitaryOneSource.com that features content just for military kids.
Military Kids Connect is a Department of Defense website working in partnership with the National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2). Military Kids Connect features "an online community for military children (ages 6-17 yr old) that provides access to age-appropriate resources to support children dealing with the unique psychological challenges of military life".
Sesame Street's Little Children, Big Challenges: Resilience – There are several resources available in the form of books, podcasts and videos to help kids navigate life on the homefront. "Little Children, Big Challenges is designed to introduce the skills and strategies young children (ages 2 to 5) need to build resilience and persevere through day-to-day challenges, such as beating the bedtime blues, trying new things and making new friends and also significant transitions and situations such as mean or aggressive behavior, sibling rivalry and relocation."
Sesame Street’s "Big Move" App – This App created by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology in partnership with Sesame Workshop, features the ability for users to create a Muppet friend to help them through the process of moving. The DoD Live blog highlights these features of the App:
Through the app, children will learn important moving steps like:
The "Big Moving Adventure" mobile app is now available as a free download from the App Store, Google Play and on Amazon® for the Kindle Fire.
These are just a few resources of many that are available to military children. Be sure to visit your Family Support Center at your local installation for even more information on these and other programs.
While navigating the military lifestyle can be an adventure of new experiences it can also be a challenge. I encourage you to take the time to tell the military children around you how much you appreciate their shared service and sacrifice. They are an inspiration and deserve our very best.
Related stories for Military Children:
DOD Salutes Children During Military Child Month – Defense.gov
Month of the Military Child – Defense.gov
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