SESAME STREET FOR MILITARY FAMILIES HELPS EVERYONE NAVIGATE CHANGE
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Sesame Street for Military FamiliesSesame Street has a whole website dedicated to military families and helping children navigate military life. This is definitely one of the best free resources for military families. The website has up to 14 links to different pages of resources for military families. These pages are designed to help parents and children gain the knowledge and skills they need to navigate the dynamics of military life. Each page contains a video for children to watch as well as several downloadable PDFs for children to learn from and color on. Each page also contains tips for parents on how to best teach their children about the struggles of military life. The pages are broken down below.
Learning and Growing TogetherThis is a great section to start with on the Sesame Street military families resources page. The video on this page is called “Bounce Back.” This video uses a song to help teach children how to bounce back after difficult situations, such as moving due to PCS. All the resources on this page are meant to help children learn to bounce back and be flexible during times of frequent change; these resources include things to help parents teach their children about change and being adaptable.
Transitions in Health CareThis page is fairly self-explanatory. It has medical military resources for families. The page is designed to help teach children about doctor’s appointments and to not be afraid of them. There’s also a game available on this page that helps children become familiar with the concept of going to the doctor and receiving health checkups.
Injuries & Long-Term CaregivingThough sometimes overlooked by parents, children can sometimes struggle with the injury of a loved one, especially when that injury requires long-term caregiving. This page helps break down the process for parents in explaining caregiving and injury to their children. Check out this video as part of the Sesame Street deployment video series that can help give some parents insights on what their child may be experiencing after a long-term injury:
Temporary DutyTemporary duty can be difficult for everyone, but it can be even more difficult for children. This Sesame Street military deployment page helps parents and children navigate the difficulties of temporary duty. It helps parents know how to teach their children about the absence of a parent for a shorter or longer period of time, and there are also videos and games for children to interact with on this page.
Military HomecomingsMilitary homecomings are a happy time, but it can occasionally be difficult for children to reconnect with family members after a long period of time. This Sesame Street for Military Families page teaches parents how to help their children after a long deployment.
Military to Civilian LifeThis page encourages children to take the transition from military to civilian life with a positive attitude. It helps teach children that this change is an adventure, and it provides some resources for parents to help their children.
RoutinesMany children find comfort in routines and feel frustrated when their routines change. This Sesame Street for Military page helps teach children how to navigate life when routines are constantly disrupted. It also gives excellent advice to parents about helping children adjust to constant change, like keeping some routines the same when possible.
Self-ExpressionChildren of military families can often feel left out and excluded in many situations due to their military-family status. However, these children can also experience opportunities that other children may never have. This page teaches children to accept who they are and what they’re feeling. It also helps parents learn how to encourage their children to express their emotions in a healthy and positive way.
BirthdaysThough birthdays may just be another day for some people, birthdays are a huge thing for many children. For a military child, however, birthdays can sometimes bring up the memories of things that have been lost, like a loved one or friends from a different PCS. This page is dedicated to helping parents keep the excitement around a child’s birthday, regardless of how different it may be from the last one.
Everyday Health and WellnessThis page is also a fairly self-explanatory one. It helps parents teach their children about practicing self-care, even during times of stress. It encourages parents to teach their children to have positive attitudes and get their bodies moving every day.
RelocationRelocation can be hard for any child, but there are resources for you thanks to Sesame Street. For military families, relocation can happen every two to four years; that’s hard for a child to adjust to. This page teaches parents how to break the news to their children, how to prepare their children for the move, and how to help their children maintain a positive attitude during the move.
DeploymentsHaving a parent leave can be incredibly stressful for children, but there are resources to help, thanks to Sesame Street. Deployment is hard for both parents and children; this page helps parents prepare their children for deployment.
Injuries & RehabilitationWhen a family member comes back from deployment physically or mentally injured, it can cause a lot of confusion and stress for a child. This page teaches parents how to help their children navigate the potential stress of this situation.
GriefChildren are often described as little people with big emotions. Though young, grief can hit a child exceptionally hard. Children often struggle with loneliness after losing a loved one, and it can be difficult for parents to help their children understand what has happened. This page gives tips to parents and children on how to deal with grief and how to explain grief and emotions to them.
Try the Sesame Street for Military Families AppAs mentioned, there are several games for children to play that can help them navigate the transitions through military life. The Sesame Street for Military Families program has made several of these games into apps available for children to play at any moment. These apps are available on the App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store. Sesame Street for Military Families is a beautiful resource for parents and children who need help with navigating military life. Military life can be difficult for everyone, especially for children. Parents can find resources on the Sesame Street website to help their children with these changes.
See more:Where to Find Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF)
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement. By Senior Airman Amber Carter 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
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