Parenting Youth and Teens – The Essentials

Father with arm around son

As a 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, as well as unexpected challenges such as the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Military OneSource is available to help you parent at every stage, offering information about making moves easier for your children, helping you support your child at school and talking to your teens about important topics such as substance abuse and managing stress. Here are a few ways Military OneSource can help you develop strong, resilient children.

Military Kids Connect

Service members and their families have access to this engaging website, which connects military children through an online community, prepares youth for upcoming moves and offers fun through a variety of tools and games. Your children can even learn about their future home through the teen-led video tours available for many installations. Military Kids Connect also has information to help adults understand what it takes to support military children at home and at school. Check out the ways your children can connect with others who have been there.

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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 terrain of school is a top parenting priority. Contact your local school liaison for information specific to your installation. School liaisons work with families to help navigate school transitions, deployments, college questions and information including scholarship and grant resources, special education and compliance support for the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission. Your school liaison can help you with wide range of education needs.

Military OneSource also 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.

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MWR Digital Library

The MWR Digital Library is a great resource to assist your child or teen with educational needs and make learning fun through its 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.

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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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Managing teen stress

Teenage life can be very stressful, and this is especially true during the pandemic. There are many things to juggle including disruptions to learning schedules and shifting between socially distanced and virtual schooling methods, 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 tricky 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 family support centers. 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, behavioral issues, and changes at home such as deployment, reunion, divorce and grief. Child and youth behavioral counselors also support camps that create a safe and fun environment where children and teens can learn how to put their military-life strengths to use in their everyday lives.

Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or set up a live chat today for assistance with all your parenting needs. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options. If stress leads to more serious problems with your youth, contact your crisis help line immediately.

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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 managing part-time employment opportunities and taking on additional responsibilities. 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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Eligibility for Confidential, Non-medical Support Services

Soldiers run together

Military OneSource helps service members and their families be the best guardians of their country, team and family by helping them find information, manage challenges and connect with the military community. A virtual extension of installation services, Military OneSource provides a wide range of confidential support services, including:

Eligibility may vary and is explained in the following information.

Contact Military OneSource 24/7.

You can get personalized help 365 days a year by telephone and online.

Overseas? See OCONUS calling options.

Prefer to live chat? Start now.

Eligibility for all Military OneSource support services

The following groups are eligible for all Military OneSource services listed above:

  • Active duty: All active-duty service members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Space Force
  • Active-duty immediate family members (includes spouses, children and anyone who has legal responsibility for the service member’s children during separation for the child’s benefit).
  • National Guard and reserve service members (regardless of their activation status) and their immediate families (includes spouses, children and anyone who has legal responsibility for the service member’s children during separation for the child’s benefit).
  • Coast Guard members who are activated as part of the Department of the Navy under Title 10 authority, as well as their family members.
  • Designated Department of Defense expeditionary civilians and their families (includes spouses, children and anyone who has legal responsibility for the service member’s children during separation for the child’s benefit).
  • Survivors (surviving spouses who have not remarried and children) of active duty, National Guard and reserve service members (regardless of activation status or cause of service member’s death).
  • Medically discharged service members (and their immediate family members) if they are being serviced under one of the services’ wounded warrior or seriously ill and injured programs.
  • Retired service members until 365 days past end of tour of service, retirement date or discharge date, including service members on the Temporary Disability Retirement List. Coast Guard veterans and their immediate family are eligible from their separation date until 365 days past end of tour of service.
  • Discharged service members (if discharged honorably) (and their immediate family members) until 365 days past end of tour of service, retirement date or discharge date. Coast Guard veterans (if discharged honorably) and their immediate family are eligible from their separation date until 365 days past end of tour of service.
  • Military academy cadets.

Eligibility for limited Military OneSource support services

The following groups are eligible for Military OneSource online services and webinars, and call center consultation and services, but cannot access all Military OneSource services:

  • Parents and extended family members of active-duty, National Guard and reserve service members when needing assistance with issues that are directly related to the service member or on behalf of the service member.
  • Reserve Officers’ Training Corps students.
  • Delayed-entry recruits and future recruits (and their parents and immediate family members) regarding support directly related to or on behalf of the future recruit.
  • Non-military/non-spouse (for example, partner or former spouse) who is the parent of an eligible child is eligible if the service member is being serviced under an injured soldier program as well as his or her immediate family, including anyone who has legal responsibility for a service member’s children during separation. Eligibility extends to language translation services for documents and for telephone translation.

Speak with a Military OneSource consultant directly at 800-342-9647 for more information regarding eligibility requirements. OCONUS/International? View calling options.

Keeping Your Relationship Strong – The Essentials

Service member embraces with his wife and child.

Relationships take effort and attention, and that’s especially true of military relationships when frequent moves, long separations and additional stress are parts of the equation. But it’s worth the effort. A loving, resilient marriage is a source of personal happiness and family joy and a solid relationship also lets service members focus on their mission and daily duty requirements.

Here are some ways to keep your relationship strong:

Build connections every day.

Simply talking and listening to your spouse is so important to a healthy relationship. Sharing feelings isn’t always easy, but it is the foundation for lasting love.

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Access free, confidential marriage counseling if you need it.

Get a little extra help connecting or communicating. You can access free, confidential, non-medical counseling services through Military OneSource by calling 800-342-9647 (view for overseas calling options) or via the Military and Family Life Counseling Program. Contact the program through your installation’s Military and Family Support Center.

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