Family & Relationships
You're part of a military family that numbers in the millions. You share common experiences, values and feelings of being in this together. That’s community. To support and bolster your own family, lean on your military community – including Military OneSource – to find answers and guidance from those who have been there, done that.
How to Teach Your Military Child About Healthy Boundaries
The best way for military families to show children healthy boundaries is to model it yourself – both with them and with other adults. Here’s a list of some common ways you can help your children learn to build this resilient skill in everyday family life.
Understanding Dating Violence
Dating is exciting — there's no doubt about it. And when you're new to it, it can be hard to recognize a good date or a good relationship versus an unhealthy one.
Ways to Support Your Kids in Grade School
As the guardian of your family, you want to both protect your children and help them be their best. Helping them to learn and grow is a big way to achieve both goals.
Keep Your Relationship Strong: 8 Tips for Military Parents Raising Children With Special Needs
Research shows raising a child with special needs can test a marriage. As a military family you have a strong foundation to work from, but the ability to depend on one another and teamwork are key.
Healthy Sexual Behaviors in Children
The birds and the bees. It can be a tough conversation for any parent to have with their children. Rather than avoiding it, prepare early by understanding the childhood stages of healthy sexual growth. Understanding their development stages can better prepare you for “the conversation” and any questions they may ask you about gender, sexuality and relationships along the way.
How to Support Healthy Sexual Relationships for Your Military Teenager
Military parents or guardians like you can maximize the chances of your teenager having happy and healthy relationships in high school and beyond by learning about the emotional and health problems that can arise from common unhealthy sexual behaviors, as well as what healthy teenage relationship behaviors are.
Indoor Fun Helps Military Families Beat Cabin Fever
During the cold winter months, opportunities to take your children outdoors for fun may be limited. But don't worry, there are plenty of ways to fight cabin fever. Here are 11 tried-and-tested activities that can help children burn off energy, learn basic skills and have a good time.
Special Education Programs and Resources for Military Families
Families with special needs have a wide range of programs and services available for both family members with special needs and their caregivers. Here is a sampling of the various resources and tools available to you through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, or OSEP.
Grief and Loss of a Loved One, The Days Ahead
Grief is a natural response when a loved one dies. How you grieve depends on your personality, your life experiences, the nature of your loss and your coping style.
After the death of a loved one, the last things you want to think about are taxes. However, your loved one may be entitled to certain benefits, including tax forgiveness. Here are answers to some common questions about tax liability and forgiveness.
Tax Extensions for Survivors
If you're a survivor of a service member who has died on active duty, you may have the option of taking extra time to file your tax return.
Military Families: How You Can Advocate for Your Child with Special Needs
All parents advocate – speak on behalf of, even fight for – their child’s needs to teachers, doctors and others so their child can grow up happy and successful. When that military child has special needs, that advocacy grows to include learning laws, finding resources and even representing your child to special program administrators, school boards and others
10 Questions to Ask Child Care Providers for Your Child With Special Needs
Finding a great child care provider is like finding a new member of your military family. After all, your child will spend a significant amount of time there each week, and what happens at daycare can impact what happens at home.
Military Spouses: Find Support From a Peer
Attention military spouses: Whether you’re new to the military community or a seasoned spouse, we can all find some solace in talking with a peer who has been there/done that.
Helping Your Children Change Schools
Frequent moving to new duty stations is fact of military life. Be prepared to help your school-age children with changing schools—it can go a long way to helping them adjust in healthy ways to some of the routines of military life.
The Exceptional Family Member Program: A Program for Families With Special Needs
When your family member has special needs, you have an extra roster of must-do's to be a good guardian of your family. Think about enrolling in this program as one of them.
Tax Breaks for Families with Special Needs
If you are filing taxes on behalf of yourself or a family member with special needs, you may be eligible for certain tax breaks.
The New Parent Support Program
The New Parent Support Program helps military parents, including expectant parents, transition successfully into parenthood and provides a nurturing environment for their children.
6 Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress for Families With Special Needs
The holidays are packed with fun, food, festivities and, for some of us, - stress. For families with special needs, the unfamiliar sounds, smells and visitors can sometimes be disruptive. Minimize your stress this holiday season with six simple strategies for keeping your family member engaged and calm. Be prepared and put the fun back into your festivities.
Family Readiness System
The Family Readiness System supports every service member and family member, regardless of activation status or location, in person, by phone and online.
MilParent Power is Help for Parents
MilParent Power offers helpful information and practical tools to help busy military parents build family togetherness, readiness and resilience.
Protect Your Children from Health Risks by Building Family Resilience
As a parent, being aware of factors that can impact your child’s well-being – even into adulthood – is mission-critical. Research shows that when a child has a secure bond or attachment with their parent or caregiver, they can better manage stress.
Balancing Work and Life as Dual Military Couples
When you’re married to another service member, you both share the honor of proudly serving your country. Dealing with deployments and separation can be demanding, but learning techniques to balance work and life can help you and your spouse stay connected.
Staying Resilient While Your Partner is Deployed
A big part of staying strong while your partner is deployed is being positive. Staying positive can help make things a little easier on you and family members.
Supporting Your Military Children Through the Deployment Cycle
As parents, we want to be good role models for our children. When word of a deployment comes, you’ll get a chance to show your kids what it takes to be a good guardian of your family.
Deployment Resources for Families
While military families know how to stand strong, the stresses of deployment can bring extra challenges. At Military OneSource, we're here to help — by connecting you to a wide array of programs and services designed for military families.
How Military Insignia Works
You might be wondering what those stripes and bars are on your spouse’s uniform. Those symbols represent rank — the higher the rank, the more responsibility.
Deployment Planning: Your Relationship Checklist
Have a deployment in your future? This is where you and your partner team up for relationship resilience. Plan, trust, communicate—and be confident you're ready to support your partner and keep your long-distance relationship strong.
Dealing with Military Divorce
Deciding to end your marriage can feel like the final step on a long journey.
Your Checklist: Questions to Ask Before Marriage
Thinking of marrying a service member? There are lots of great reasons to marry — and some reasons that may not be strong enough for a lifelong commitment.
Employment Resources for Family Members of Deceased Service Members
Joining the workforce after the death or disability of a loved one can ease financial strain and provide a way to find your new normal. When seeking employment with the federal government, military family members may be eligible for special preference programs. While these programs don’t guarantee a job, they provide a qualified candidate entry into the applicant pool.
Preparing Your Family Care Plan
Whether it's a deployment or training, sometimes your military career obligates you to leave your family and loved ones for an extended period of time. While being away from home is never easy, creating a family care plan can give you some peace of mind while you’re gone.
MilParent Power Tips
Parenting is a perfect example of family readiness and resilience – it’s an “always-on” job. Like a military mission, responsible parenting requires attention, smarts, skills and support. Here are 19 tips to help you step up your parenting and improve your childrearing skills. Everyone wins with responsible parenting.
Domestic Abuse: Military Reporting Options
Deciding whether to report domestic abuse can be difficult. Victims of domestic abuse may feel confused, alone or afraid to get help. If your partner is abusive, knowing your reporting options may help you decide what's best for you and your family.
How to Help Service-Connected Victims of Domestic Abuse
No one ever deserves to be abused. Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse — a friend, relative, neighbor or co-worker. Once you understand domestic abuse, you can support victims safely, confidentially and at their own pace.
How to Help Your Children Protect Themselves From Sexual Abuse
Talking to your children about their bodies can help protect them from sexual abuse. From the time your children are quite young, have a conversation with them about who can touch them and what to do if they are uncomfortable with someone's touch.
Signs of Child Abuse
Child abuse offenders come from all ranks, races, religions and income levels. As hard as it can be to imagine, an abuser can be your neighbor, co-worker or even friend.
Guarding Against Child Sexual Abuse
You can help protect your children from sexual abuse by providing careful supervision, establishing open communication and giving them the information they need to be safe.
How to Report Child Abuse In The Military
Everyone has a role to play in creating safe and healthy communities. This is particularly true when it comes to the health and safety of children.
Military Couples: When Both Spouses Are Service Members
Families where both spouses are service members have a unique challenge. While the dual-military life is rewarding, time apart can strain communication. Learn techniques to help you balance work and family life so that your relationship thrives. Develop strategies for dealing with stress and sacrifice so that your marriage is strengthened by your and your spouse’s service to the country.
9 Tips for Keeping Your Relationship Strong and Healthy
Relationships are like military missions in that they require strategy, foresight and effort.
Rights and Benefits of Divorced Spouses in the Military
Ease the time, expense and emotional strain of divorce by learning about unique legal issues due to military service.
10 Tips for Parenting While Your Spouse Is Deployed
When your partner is deployed, it can feel like you are a single parent.
Dealing With Divorce as a Military Family
Moving forward with a divorce can be the start of a new life.
Understanding Your Child’s Development
Children change quickly. Suddenly your sleeping infant is an independent 3-year-old. Before you know it, your kid is off to high school.
Welcome to Military Life: Support Resources for Military Families
If you’ve recently married into the military, or you or your spouse has just joined, you may be feeling both nervous and excited about the future. During the adjustment period, spouses take on new roles, adapt to new schedules and learn new ways of handling many of life’s obstacles.
6 Tips to Harness Your MilParent Power
As a service member, spouse or survivor you know the importance of being a good guardian — of country, community and family. Responsibility is nothing new.
How to Plan a Military Wedding
There are a lot of details involved in planning a wedding, especially military weddings taking place on an installation.
Life As a Male Military Spouse
As a male military spouse, you are part of a community that values you.
Moving to America and Adjusting to Life
Adjusting to a new culture and language takes time and a dose of patience. We are here to ease your transition and point you to resources that will help you adjust.
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.
Bullying: How to Identify and Address Peer Aggression
Bullying, or peer aggression, is more common than you think. It consists of any behavior – verbal or physical – directed at peers and intended to cause harm.
Helping Your Child Find a Mentor
Sometimes other adults have the special gift of helping our children see and use their strengths and talents. This is mentorship.
Tips for Disciplining Your Child
Misbehavior is a natural part of growing up. However, dealing with it as a parent requires lots of deep breathing, patience and strategies for discipline.
How to Communicate With Children From Birth to 5 Years
The way your child communicates will change a lot between birth and the age of five, and children have a language of their own. Knowing what to expect can help you understand and respond to your child in meaningful ways.
Parenting and Teen Stress
Teens juggle many things: fitting in at school, managing classwork and clubs, the daily tidal wave of hormones, and the ups and downs of high school romances.
Sesame Street for Military Families: Helping Kids Through Life’s Milestones
For many years, colorful Sesame Street characters like Elmo and Big Bird have helped children learn while having fun. The Department of Defense has drawn on these familiar friends to help children ages 2-6 through the milestones of relocations, deployments, transitions and more.
An Overview of Adults With Special Needs
Supporting adult family members with complex needs may involve collaboration with a variety of support systems and community-based services.
Don't Get Left Behind: How to Evacuate When Disaster Strikes
Evacuations occur more frequently than most people realize. Know what protective measures to take before, during and after an evacuation.
Potential Signs of Postpartum Depression
While the "baby blues" are common for many women after giving birth, some women face a more prolonged and serious period of depression. If your feelings of sadness or anxiety do not go away, you may be suffering from postpartum depression.
Recognizing the Signs of Stress in Children After a Disaster
Even the most well-adjusted children may experience stress following a disaster or traumatic event. It's important to understand how to recognize and address signs of stress so you can help your children cope with their feelings.
The Military Parenting Community: Enhancing Resilience One Family at a Time
Raising a child can be the most exhilarating of adventures. It can also be exhausting, overwhelming or relentless — sometimes all at the same time.
Top Military OneSource Parenting Resources
You have a busy life working, caring for the kids, cleaning the house, running carpool and making dinner. Military OneSource understands that and does your homework for you. We highlight the latest resources, information and advice on parenting so that you don’t have to spend hours at the computer on your downtime looking up services.
An Overview of Special Education
Special education is designed to meet unique needs of children with special needs, ages 3 through 21.
An Overview of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act
Every child deserves a quality education. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ensures that all children with special needs have access to a "free appropriate public education" and they have the necessary tools to meet their educational goals.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America: Military Partnership
Help your kids meet new people, try new things and have fun with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Child Care Options For Military Families With Special Needs
Finding the right care for your child with special needs starts with asking the right questions. The military offers quality, affordable child care options, both on the installation and off.
Department of Defense Summer Camps
Have some activities planned to keep your kids busy, engaged and having fun when school lets out. Department of Defense summer camps may be a great addition to your child's summer lineup.
Education Directory for Children With Special Needs
The Education Directory for Children With Special Needs is a Web-based tool that helps military families with special needs make informed decisions about education and early intervention services available on or near installations within the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?
Social Security Disability Insurance is a payroll tax-funded, federal insurance program administered by the Social Security Administration that provides supplemental income to people whose disability prevents them from procuring employment or staying employed.
Department of Defense Directory on Early Intervention, Special Education and Related Services in OCONUS Communities
Whether your family is moving to Ansbach, Germany, or Camp Zama, Japan, you'll want to know everything you can about overseas schools, especially if you have children with special educational needs.
Exceptional Family Member Program Family Support
Exceptional Family Member Program family support teaches military families with special needs the skills they need to make the best decisions for the person they’re supporting and gives them the confidence and strength to improve their quality of life.
Medicaid for Family Members With Special Needs
Medicaid is a federal program that provides eligible military families with benefits beyond TRICARE. It covers basic health and long-term care services for eligible children, adults, pregnant women, individuals with disabilities and the elderly, and for families with low income and limited resources.
Person-center planning is a military-supported initiative to help individuals with disabilities direct their own lives — with options to plan housing, work, finances and more.