Issues of military families prior to deployment and after return ... take on the challenges while others do so with resentment. Without focused support and resources, military children face social and emotional challenges, difficulty understanding policies and adjusting to curriculum and school climate, difficulty qualifying for or continuing with special education services, and … Every school district in the country has military-connected students. What items could you add to the list? Additional research on the experiences of National Guard and Reserve families, who often have less access to support services, would also be valuable. Talk with your child before the move to help them prepare, build a support system, and check in with them frequently in the months after the move. It’s refreshing to see recognition for the affect that has had on their lives. Being a military spouse can actually make some parts of going back to school easier. This can leave military children feeling lonely or socially isolated. Children of military and veteran families experience unique challenges related to military life and culture. Frequent moves can also make it difficult to build and maintain friendships and social groups. If you believe your child is struggling with these challenges, use whatever support is available to you, such as a therapist. However, there are steps you can take to help prepare your child for a deployment, support them during the deployment, and reconnect with their deployed parent post-deployment. Deployments make 9-12-month separations from a parent quite common. She served 20 years on active duty in the U.S. Army. 3. Kavitha Cardoza/WAMU Check Out The Full Story From WAMU's Breaking Ground Project Over 80 percent of these children – 1,105,267 students – attend Pre-K through 12 public schools. While not inherently “bad,” a sudden spike in responsibility is stressful for anyone, especially children who are still learning about how to be responsible for tasks. My children grieved the death of a friend’s father at the ages of nine, seven, and five. Williams and I are both Army brats -- her father is a retired lieutenant colonel and mine is an active-duty sergeant major. Today we'd like to talk about some of the biggest challenges you face as a military family and hear your ideas for future chat topics. Moving means not only a new home but also new neighbors, new classmates, new teachers, a new classroom, new sports teams, and the list goes on. Gen. Dave and Mrs. Dulce Howe and senior at Tabb High School, won the Langley Officer's Spouses Club's 2012 Scholarship contest. Military-related separations often come with a shift in family roles and responsibilities. For more ways to help your military child thrive, download our free handbook “A Battle Plan for Military Children’s Mental Wellness.” It’s a great place to find help in creating a solid, stable household in which military children can thrive. Research and programs need to take a comprehensive approach that is strengths based and problem focused. An opportu-nity being a military child IS making new friends and seeing new places. The challenge is starting over in a new school, town, or new country; leaving friends and familiar places. Constant moves and saying goodbye to friends takes a … Being a military child comes with unique challenges, and yet there are many things parents and professionals can do to support their child through stressful times. Pre-deployment: During the days and months leading up to deployment, service members and their families may experience a variety of stressful events, such as dealing with legal issues, creating a will, or assigning a power of attorney.Children may feel confused or anxious about what will happen to them. With demands on service members and their families being greater now than in past years, policy makers might consider funding more support programs for family members as well. An opportu-nity being a military child IS making new friends and seeing new places. My military upbringing has taught me how to work harder, get further, and always be me. Being part of a military family can be both incredibly rewarding and sometimes frustrating. Programs for military children and families often focus on the prevention or reduction of problems. If you grew up in a military family, you know that many of the challenges you faced were different than those of your civilian friends. Being a military child is somewhat like being a part of an elite club. Much of the time, this means that the home-front parents take on parenting “double-duty.” However, school-aged and adolescent children often experience an increase in responsibility too. Issues in need of further research are identified, especially research into programs that assist military children and families. ... the majority of children are doing well despite those challenges. It begins with a review of the basic demographics of military families and a discussion of the variability among military families. Tasks and responsibilities held by the service-member parent must be delegated while they are deployed. Editor’s Note: Elizabeth Howe, the daughter of U.S. Air Force Brig. And as they grow up, the nearly 2 million military children face many of the … This also applies to child care services and pre-school enrollments. It is just as important to recognize their assets and to promote them. Check in with your child’s doctor and seek support if you suspect your child might be struggling with a deployment or separation. And sometimes, they occur during peacetime. Additionally, current programs need to be expanded, and would ideally focus on more comprehensive approaches to social stability and reducing the stigma associated with seeking mental health care. No job is just a mommy or just a daddy job. Experts explain mental state of military children. Adapting to new people, places, and things is hard for everyone, and children can face various challenges as they work hard to adjust to their new surroundings. 10) We speak a different language. If your child is serious about wanting to attend a military academy, you’ll need to start thinking about the application process during the early years of high school. For example, even in the midst of feeling sad or anxious about the separation, family members may also feel pride for their service member. problems. No, often times military families are assigned to Military children face challenges others often do not encounter until adulthood. I have travelled the world supporting my husband and have lived and breathed the challenges faced by this community. • There are about 1.85 million children in the U.S. with at least one parent in the military, many of whom relocate more frequently than non-military children. This means that frequent moving comes not only with stress of readjustment, but also with feelings of sadness and grieving. Communities, neighborhoods, schools and extended family play a significant role in the well-being of military children during deployment. These include deployment-related stresses such as parental separation, family reunification, and reintegration; disruption of relationships with friends and neighbors due to frequent moves; and adaptation to new schools and new community resources. American Psychologist (2011); 66(1), 65-72. She is member of the STRONG STAR Multidisciplinary Research Consortium and the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD, whose mission is to alleviate and prevent posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other deployment related problems in active duty service members and their families. I'm Stephanie Himel-Nelson and I'm excited to be hosting this chat today. Approximately 10 to 12 percent of military-connected students are served in special education programs. Of the 1.2 million school-aged children of military service members, only 86,000 actually attend schools administered by the Department of Defense on military … And it’s usually not just a relocation down the street. As most current studies only focus on the effects of deployment during the time of actual deployment, more long-term studies are needed to determine both the short and long-term effects of deployment on children and families. When family members find meaning in the service member’s work, they tend to function better. Many of the challenges military families face are moderated by interacting factors, such as branch of service, age, education, ethnicity, and pre-existing problems and assets. Military children have always had to deal with the stressors of being the new kid on the block. This article reviews existing research on military children and families, with attention to their strengths as well as their challenges. Writing about the challenges you've faced during military life can set you apart from other college applicants. When your parent is gone all the time for a long period of time, you have to learn to control your emotions. Editor’s Note: Elizabeth Howe, the daughter of U.S. Air Force Brig. They may have more household chores or more obligations in looking after their younger siblings. Military families are not that different from civilian families. Previous research has found that the families that function most effectively during relocations and other major transitions related to military life tend to be active, optimis… Anyone who has experienced a move knows how stressful it is. FORT CARSON, Colo. -- They never chose the Army, but many of them were born into it. It’s refreshing to see recognition for the affect that has had on their lives. December 2011; ... to a greater number of child difficulties and well-being . 1,381,584 of the military-connected children are ages 4-18 years old. The Children of Military Service Members Challenges, Supports, and Future Educational Research. At that time, only 15 percent of active-duty troops—who were nearly all men—were also parents, so the hardship on children was neither prominent nor researched. 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