As a military parent, one of your most important jobs is to raise children and teens who are prepared to cope in healthy ways with changing circumstances such as deployments, moves and new schools. Children and teens may also need guidance with unexpected challenges, such as a service member’s injury or disruptions to education and extracurricular activities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Military OneSource is available to help you parent at every stage and in every situation.

Military OneSource offers information about making moves easier for your children, helping you support your child at school, talking to your teens about important topics, managing stress, promoting healthy lifestyle practices and more. Here are a few ways Military OneSource can help you raise strong, resilient children.

Parenting information and resources

The Defense Department is committed to supporting service members and families through an extensive network of programs and services both online and in person, on installation and in the community. Learn more from the articles and resources below.

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Making moves easier for your children

Moving is part of military life, and it can be tough on children and teens. Military OneSource provides you with tips that can make your next move a smooth one. Plan ahead as much as possible. The more you talk about your new home ahead of time, the easier the relocation will be for your children — and you.

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School support for your child

Giving your children a head start in their education and helping them safely navigate through the sometimes-tricky school terrain is a top parenting priority. Military OneSource offers parenting resources to help your children thrive at school. We can help you support your child by providing guidance on a successful transition to a new school, connecting you with tutoring information or helping you navigate standardized testing in high school.

The School Liaison Program offers an array of services and resources to support children, parents, installation leadership, schools and the surrounding community. By working together with these stakeholders, the School Liaison Program builds a support network to provide the best possible education experience for military-connected children and youth worldwide. Contact your local school liaison for transition support before and after a PCS, including assistance with:

  • Transfer of credits and class registration
  • Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission, or MIC3, compliance support
  • After-school and extracurricular programs
  • Exceptional Family Member Program referrals
  • Tutoring referrals
  • Youth sponsorship referrals
  • College, career and military readiness

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Managing teen stress

Teenage life can be very stressful, even without the added challenges of military life and the COVID-19 pandemic. Teens juggle many things, including disruptions to learning schedules and shifting between socially-distanced and virtual schooling methods, loss of sports seasons and other extracurricular activities that are limited by the pandemic, grief and worry surrounding illnesses, fitting in at school, managing class work and clubs, and dealing with a changing body and hormones. Your job is to help steer them through these critical years. Military OneSource offers tips for recognizing stress in your teen and ways to help your adolescent manage emotions.

Child and youth behavioral military and family life counselors can be found at installation youth and child development centers as well as at Military and Family Support Centers. Child and youth behavioral military and family life counselors are available to meet with military children and youth and their families to discuss self-esteem issues, relationships at home and school, and behavioral issues. They can also help navigate changes at home, such as deployment, reunion, divorce and grief.

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Talking to your teen about difficult topics

It’s important to keep communication open with your teen about topics such as identifying and seeking treatment for substance abuse, maintaining healthy relationships and dealing with a parent’s serious injury. Review our tips on addressing these important issues with your adolescent and where you can go for some extra support if you need it.

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MWR Digital Library

MWR Digital library is a great resource to assist your child or teen with educational needs. Make learning fun through these expansive, personalized and often interactive resources that reach across all levels of learning. You can:

  • Gain access to tutors and connect your military child or teen with live online help across more than 16 subjects.
  • Access video storybooks, audiobooks, eLearning tutorials and reading materials for practically all areas of learning.
  • Find practice exams and other information to help students prepare for college.
  • Take time out for fun. Read the latest fantasy trilogy or learn crafts and skills ranging from beading and needlepoint to playing guitar or chess. There’s something for everyone.

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Youth and teen resources

As your children and teens take on additional responsibilities and activities, Military OneSource can help you support the next big steps in their lives, from managing part-time employment opportunities, taking on additional responsibilities and preparing for higher education or a career after high school.

You can also explore the wide range of DOD-approved youth and teen resources which can help your child make friends, stay active and develop new skills.

  • Installation youth centers offer computer labs, special field trips, gymnasiums, music rooms, game rooms, sponsorship programs, instructional classes, intramural sports and fitness, and volunteer and employment opportunities. You can also request a youth sponsor for your child through your installation youth center. Read more about the youth and teen programs available on installations.
  • Military Kids Connect is a website designed to celebrate military children and help them cope with military life challenges like deployment and frequent moves. It offers engaging tools and games, as well as a safe online place to communicate with other military children. It also provides helpful resources for parents and teachers.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America Mission Youth Outreach links parents with local Boys & Girls Clubs to help meet the recreational needs of families who may not live near installation youth center services.
  • Military youth can join 4-H clubs on their installation and in their community and participate in summer camps around the country. Visit the 4-H Military Partnerships website to learn more.
  • Military Teen Adventure Camps, sponsored in conjunction with Purdue University, offer outdoor experiences for military-connected teens ages 14-18. Camp activities include whitewater rafting, hiking, rock climbing, ropes courses, winter camping and backpacking. The camps allow teens to build their leadership and teamwork skills as well as self-confidence.
  • DOD summer camps may be a great addition to your child’s summer lineup. Parents can also find specialty camps for their children at local installations, with activities ranging from sports-themed summer camps to theater, art and cooking camps. To find a camp or summer activity on your installation, visit MilitaryChildCare.com or contact your installation youth center.
  • Operation Purple® Camp creates a safe and fun environment where military children and teens from all services to connect with peers who have similar experiences, like frequent moves, deployed parents and even a parent’s injury. Youth enjoy kayaking, horseback riding and service activities to help the community and learn how to put their military-life strengths to use in their everyday lives.

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Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647, view international calling options or set up a live chat today for assistance with all your parenting needs. If stress leads to more serious problems with your youth, contact the Military Crisis Line immediately at 800-273-8255.