Resilience is the ability to bounce back from stress. Learning to be more resilient can help your family deal with the demands of military life.
Resilient families are flexible and connected. They are great at using their resources to solve problems. Here are ways your family can build resilience:
Keep up to date on child development and parenting information.
- Know what is normal for your child’s age. This can help you have realistic expectations for behavior.
- Learn how to recognize stress and deal with it in positive ways. This can increase your own well-being and show your children healthy ways to deal with challenges.
- Check out THRIVE. It’s a free online parenting program from the Department of Defense. Use it to raise healthy, resilient children from birth to 18.
Relationships need to be nurtured with time and attention.
- Simple acts like playing with children, listening to them and showing affection can build resilience. When children feel loved and secure it is easier for them to form healthy relationships and handle stressful situations.
- Parents need nurturing too. Make time to do simple things as a couple. Take a walk, watch a movie, listen to each other and show affection. When parents nurture their relationship it can make it easier for them to support their family’s needs. It also shows children positive ways to behave.
- Make community connections. Spend time with friends, family or community groups that share your interests and make you feel good. Social networks can help parents and children feel more secure and better able to manage life challenges.
Military life can present unique challenges. These include frequent moves and long deployments. Two ways to manage those challenges are:
- Get comfortable with change. Try to see transitions as puzzles to solve rather than impossible situations. These challenges can present opportunities to build skills, expand resilience and experience new adventures.
- Learn to focus on the things you CAN control instead of worrying about things you can’t.
Children learn as much from what their parents do as from what their parents say. When parents learn to behave positively they show children how to be positive too.
Use your resources
The Department of Defense is committed to the health and well-being of military children and families. It provides a wide variety of resources to help families thrive. Your Military and Family Support Center can connect you to parenting programs, support for special needs, activities for children and families, Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs and more. Services vary by location so contact your installation for more information.
Military OneSource is a great place to find information anytime, anywhere in the world. Here are some online resources to help your family build resilience:
- Parenting and children resources
- MilParenting Tips
- Enhancing Parental Resilience podcast
- Recommended Wellness Apps
For questions call 800-342-9647 or send a chat request. OCONUS/Overseas? Click here for calling options. Military OneSource agents are available 24/7 to help you stay smart, connected and positive, and find resources to help your family build resilience.