Resources for Parents and Military Families

military family resources

Resources to Assist Child Development for the Parents of Military Families

Being a parent is a fun and challenging journey that has many rewards. Parenting is full of daily surprises and unique situations. Parenting is a “learn as you go profession”, because each child is unique. Each child reacts to and responds to situations differently so learning about your children as well as how to effectively communicate and develop them can be a tricky thing.

Military families are no different and often have extra stressors because of the military lifestyle. The Department of Defense recognizes the importance of maintaining a healthy family and has partnered with ZERO to THREE to develop resources that military families can use to enhance the well-being of their family and provide resources they can turn to for early childhood development.

Zero to Three Program Details

Early Development & Well-Being

The early Development & Well-Being area focuses on the first three years of life. Areas they specifically focus on are healthy brain development, social skills, emotional skills, and language development.

Early Learning

This area focuses on helping you understand that infants are constantly learning and that children learn through many avenues such as active exploration, play, their environment, and interactions with adults.

Parenting

The Parenting section provides you resources to fit your parenting style. When it comes to knowing their family’s needs, parents are the ones who know best. ZERO to THREE provides information and tools to support you as you grow and develop your children.

Policy & Advocacy

The ZERO to THREE Policy & Advocacy section has a very simple mission and that is to promote strong families, good health, and positive learning. They focus on learning and growing for infants and toddlers. They have an extra desire to assist those who are in need and vulnerable.

Resources for Fun and Exploration

As many parents know keeping your kids entertained and engaged is an important part of their development at any age. Doing activities as a family can increase your cohesiveness. Here are a few other resources for you and your family to explore and have fun with.

  • Zoo Cameras – Live cameras that allow you to explore zoos, sanctuaries, Oceans, Bears, and more.
  • Virtual Field Trips – Take a field trip to Mars, National Parks, the Louvre, and the Boston Children’s Museum.
  • Go Noodle – Get the kids moving and learning with fun videos and activities.  Available on YouTube.
  • Bike Zone – offers a 5% military discount for active duty, reserve, guard, and veteran.

Resources for Growth and Development

An overlooked parent resource for learning and fun are the libraries located on military bases all over the country. They have an amazing selection of free online resources you can use right at home. You will need to contact your library for details on how to sign up for these free programs.

  • Overdrive – Enjoy ebooks and audiobooks for free.
  • Universal Class – Learn new skills online with courses consisting of lessons, exams, and assignments.
  • FreeGal Music – Find free music and audiobooks.
  • EBSCO eBooks – Build yourself a free ebook collection from university presses and top publishers.
  • Mango Languages – Learn a new language with interactive learning.
  • Bookflix – Discover interactive fictional video storybooks.
  • Trueflix – Awesome substitute for science and social studies.
  • FreedomFlix – Explore almost 70 social studies units through video, ebooks, and more.

No matter how old your children are it is important to build relationships and have fun with your children. Developing bonds through exploration and fun will help to unite your family and encourage a sense of adventure in your children. The flexibility gained through adventure will come in handy throughout your military journey.

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About the author

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Lori Waddell serves as Co-director of an emergency response COAD in Montana, a freelance writer, and an Air Force Key Spouse. She is passionate about empowering communities and individuals through knowledge and resources. She currently lives in Montana with her husband and two children.