Resources to Help Kids Cope
Getting Through Life’s Difficult Times
April 30, 2014 by Mark Dye
Being a military kid offers a wealth of experiences they won’t find anywhere else. At the same time, it presents a number of difficult situations and challenges that are truly unique to the military lifestyle, from deployments to the loss of a parent. Knowing what to do or say in such situations can be difficult, which is why there are a number of programs and services designed to assist military families when something traumatic occurs.
One of the premier medical institutions in America, the Mayo Clinic offers tips on how to deal with grief that apply to those of any age, as well as information on how to speak with kids specifically about a highly stressful event.
Military One Source
This site offers a wealth of info, from how to cope with a traumatic event to materials from the Sesame Street Workshop that help children better understand and deal with a deployed parent. It also lets you search for your state’s Joint Family Support and Assistance Program, which partners with local organizations to support military families, and provides resources for when a parent is wounded.
National Military Family Association (NMFA)
The NMFA’s “Operation Purple” program helps military kids cope with difficult situations in three ways: Operation Purple Camp, Operation Purple Healing Adventures, and Operation Purple Family Retreats. Each one gives kids the chance to meet others who are going through similar situations, which can help them cope.
Operation Military Kids (OMK)
This program is a partnership between the U.S. Army and various community organizations, such as local Boys and Girls clubs, 4H groups, etc. The goal is create a community-based support system for kids dealing with a deployed parent or other difficult circumstances. OMK’s website is a terrific way to find organizations that offer valuable assistance.
MILITARY AND FAMILY LIFE COUNSELOR PROGRAM
Getting counseling can be a good way to cope with difficulties, and the DoD offers non-medical counseling for a number of situations. Both the “Military and Family Life Counselor Program” and “Child and Youth Behavioral Military and Family Life Counselor Program” are provided at no cost, and they are offered on each installation. You can check your installation’s website to find the one nearest you.
Military life isn’t always easy, which is why there is no shame in asking for help when needed. Hopefully one of the organizations above can assist your family if needed.