While military children’s experiences may vary drastically, there are some common denominators: frequent relocations, extended periods of time away from a parent and exposure to new cultures and places. Not to mention the shared pride that comes with having a family member who serves their country.
April is Month of the Military Child and USAA joins the nation in recognizing the sons and daughters of those who serve.
USAA and The USAA Foundation, Inc.* are honored to support nonprofit organizations that provide free, helpful tools and resources that address the multitude of diverse experiences military children can face, at every stage of their personal growth and development. Here are just four of the organizations supported last year:
Support for families with infants and toddlers, especially during military separations
Babies on the Homefront provides military and veteran parents ideas for enhancing everyday moments with their baby or toddler. Parents will find material to add to their toolbox of strategies, including behavior tips, PT (Play Time), and At Ease (ideas for parental self-care). Parents can personalize the app with their baby’s picture and create a photo gallery of their child’s moods in Feeling Photos. To make it even easier, parents can sort the information by their young child’s age and specify their situation as At Home, Leaving Soon, Deployed, Home Again, a Veteran, or visiting a hospital.
Pre-school resources for many phases of military life with beloved characters
Since 2006, Sesame Workshop has supported military families with children through multiphase initiatives focused on their unique challenges and needs. Their initiatives represent a growing portfolio of engaging, research-based materials to help with deployment, homecoming, injuries, grieving, resilience and the transition to civilian life. Sesame Workshop’s next phase of work with military families will explore how caregiving for service members and veterans affects the entire family and, specifically, children.
Student and parent engagement programs to help navigate K-12 school transitions
Most military-connected students move six to nine times during their school years. Feeling like the perpetual “new kid” can be stressful – just finding someone to eat lunch with can make a difference. Through Student to Student, MCEC offers student-centered and student-led programs at the elementary, middle and high school levels to ease transitions, and create a positive environment. The MCEC Parent to Parent program empowers parents to be their child’s strongest advocate on educational and social issues through MCEC Parent Workshops.
Mental wellness resources to promote resiliency for military children and families
Created with the knowledge that military families face unique challenges that can cause anxiety or sadness for children, Clarity Child Guidance Center expanded its One in Five Minds website to include content for military families. The website contains videos, articles, and downloadable parent guides that address mental wellness, military parenting strategies, potential warning signs, and tips for finding help in whatever community the military may send you to.
*The USAA Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization, supports organizations that provide services in the areas of education, health and human services, arts and culture, and civic and economic development primarily in the communities where USAA employees live and work. The USAA Foundation, Inc., does not endorse or promote any commercial supplier, products or services. USAA is the sponsor of The USAA Foundation.
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