12 Can’t-Miss Parenting Resources for Military Parents
From new parent support assistance to newsletters packed with information, military parents have access to numerous resources to make your job of raising kids a little easier and a lot more fun. Military OneSource is here for you with support, guidance and assistance to help you through those first sleep-deprived nights with your newborn to the busy days of helping your teen prepare for college. Here is a sampling of the free tools and resources available to military parents to help raise a safe, happy and healthy family.
Department of Defense resources
- The New Parent Support Program provides supportive home visits to expectant parents and parents of young children. The program provides parenting tips and advice to steer you through those first years. For more information, contact your local Military and Family Support Center or Family Advocacy Program. Find contact information for those programs through MilitaryINSTALLATIONS.
- The Military OneSource Parenting & Children page has lots of good information and tips on raising children. Topics cover everything from safe sleep environments and children's developmental milestones to having a baby when your spouse or partner is deployed.
- Military OneSource’s New MilParent specialty consultation offers free, confidential support on a wide range of parenting issues for expectant parents and parents of children up to the age of 5.
- Military OneSource has a variety of other specialty consultations that give parents a chance to speak with specialists with various areas of expertise. Thinking about adoption? Looking for a support group? Schedule a consultation. Specialty consultations are also available to discuss other topics like wounded warriors, special needs, adult and elder care, education, and health and wellness coaching. Just call 800-342-9647.
- The Morale, Welfare and Recreation Digital Library has a huge variety of books for your children. You can download animated picture books to help your kids learn to read and build their vocabulary, and provide them with endless hours of entertainment. There are books and magazines available for you to download, too.
Parenting newsletters and apps
- "Tricare Pregnancy & Childhood Education for Military Families" – This weekly newsletter about pregnancy and parenting questions is available to new or expecting military families for free from the moment you or your spouse becomes pregnant until your child turns 3 years old.
- From Baby to Big Kid – This monthly eNewsletter from ZERO TO THREE, a nonprofit organization, takes a scientific approach to exploring how children learn and grow each month, from birth to 3 years old.
- Babies on the Homefront – This is a new free app from ZERO TO THREE just for military parents.
- Just In Time Parenting – You can download and print this eNewsletter, but subscribing also helps connect you with parenting experts around the country.
- Text4baby – This free mobile information service can help you have a healthy pregnancy. You'll receive three text messages per week tailored to your due date and your growing child.
Resources from partner organizations
- Sesame Workshop – This multiphase outreach initiative uses videos, storybooks and workbooks to help kids through deployments, moves, combat-related injuries and the death of a loved one.
- ZERO TO THREE – This national nonprofit has many resources to support military families with young children under 3 years old. Check out the DVDs and activity books for your children or listen to the parenting podcast, "Little Kids, Big Questions."
- Focus on the Go – Learning family resilience can be entertaining. This app from Project FOCUS will hold your child's attention with fun games and activities, and simultaneously teach them how to better communicate their feelings. While you are on their site, check out other apps, like FOCUS World, providing online resiliency training for military families.
Contact Military OneSource to learn about other resources available to you so that you can be the best parent possible and raise strong, resilient children.