As a parent, your job is to find activities for your youth and teens that will teach them life skills and build community without boring them or turning them away. It’s especially important to engage military youth and teens in wholesome interests in which they feel safe and grounded.
Military OneSource offers several ways youth and teens can build a sense of community, helping you keep your family strong. Here are some ideas:
Service families have access to an engaging website that helps youth and teens connect to an online community of other military kids, prepare for upcoming moves and have fun with interactive tools. The site offers forums for kids to share their own ideas, experiences and suggestions with other military children, resources for helping youth and teens appreciate military life, tours of your next installation and more. Military Kids Connect also has great information to help adults understand what it takes to support military youth and teens at home and at school.
Your child may have countless friends on social media, but nothing beats that face-to-face interaction in a new environment. The military services work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to provide access to youth centers and clubs around the country. The program offers children between the ages of 6 and 18 a solid support network that provides a sense of belonging, ongoing relationships with caring adults and a safe and healthy environment to develop lifelong skills.
Check out programs exclusive to military families that keep your youth and teen engaged in inspiring activities. This includes installation youth centers, which offer access to everything from computer labs and music rooms to gyms and game rooms and more, to teen adventure camps – available for teens ages 14 to 18. These teen adventure camps partner with universities around the country and include wilderness excursions like sailing, kayaking and survival camps. Also, deployment support camps provide a safe space where your youth or teen can build a supportive network of other military youth who may have similar experiences.
Even though your military youth or teen is used to moving, he or she may still experience some apprehension. Military OneSource provides information for youth and teens to make the moving process smoother.