The Military Parenting Community: Enhancing Resilience One Family at a Time
Parenting is an ever demanding job that requires you to be ready at all times. For parents in the military, raising kids comes with an added degree of difficulty due to the many demands of military life. You’ve got this, but if there are days you wonder if you are up to the challenge, it’s OK – all parents do.
Luckily, you and the MilParent community are in this together.
Connect with Other Parents and Support
Getting a coffee or meal with a friend or having that venting session with your mom or dad does more than make you feel better, it can make you an even better parent. Research shows that supportive social connections can help keep your family strong. Several military community resources stand ready to provide support or connect you with other parents.
- Your Military and Family Support Center can direct you to the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Program for health, fitness and family fun in your community.
- Contact your installation’s Family Advocacy Program, New Parent Support Program or Child and Youth Program to take advantage of affordable education programs, flexible child care, age-appropriate activities and more.
- Military and Family Life Counselors are available to help talk through parenting challenges and military-life stresses.
- The Military OneSource call center can directly connect you to these and other resources. Call 800-342-9647. Click here for international calling options.
Offer Help if You Can
You know what it is like to need a hand, and you may even know that it can be hard to ask for one. So, take a minute and offer help to others around you. Be proactive and ask, because ultimately working together creates a sense of community, and supportive communities help build strong families. Opportunities to connect with others – from eating together to lending a hand – builds resilient families and a healthy community.
Here are a few ideas for offering help to fellow parents in your community:
- Babysit. You don’t need to offer your whole day or watch five kids at once to be helpful. Sometimes even a short break can make a major difference for a busy parent.
- Cook. Whether it’s an invite for dinner or dropping off a frozen casserole, helping with mealtime is a gesture that enhances community at any time – not just after a baby is born.
- Listen. Sometimes a listening ear is all that is needed to regain perspective. Other times, it can provide relief and serve as a first step toward identifying that he or she may need benefit from additional help.
- Compliment. Don’t underestimate the value of a kind word or encouraging thought. Most people, parents included, are empowered by positive feedback. Be sure to tell the parents around you when you think they’re doing great.