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challenges of being a military child

Frequent moves can also make it difficult to build and maintain friendships and social groups. Military children and families deserve greater attention from psychology.”. One thing you always hear about military brats is that they move around a lot, and that’s true. Additionally, current programs need to be expanded, and would ideally focus on more comprehensive approaches to social stability and reducing the stigma associated with seeking mental health care. It’s refreshing to see recognition for the affect that has had on their lives. But being a part of a military family also presents some unique challenges, experiences, and joys that folks who have not shared our way of life may miss out on. • There are about 1.85 million children in the U.S. with at least one parent in the military, many of whom relocate more frequently than non-military children. Programs for military children and families often focus on the prevention or reduction of problems. The Challenges of Military Child Public Education and Homeschooling Access to quality education and persistent transition problems for military children are continuing sources of frustration for military families and affects retention across all services. Military Children from WAMU's Breaking Ground project sheds light on the challenges of being the child of soldiers. Previous research has found that the families that function most effectively during relocations and other major transitions related to military life tend to be active, optimis… They may have more household chores or more obligations in looking after their younger siblings. Deployments average 3 to 15 months. Military children typically attend between seven to nine schools before they graduate, moving approximately every two years. Of the 1.2 million school-aged children of military service members, only 86,000 actually attend schools administered by the Department of Defense on military … For most families in the United States, long separations between children and their parents are rare – unless you are a military family. This is even more true for children because they are developmentally primed to grow strong attachments for comfort and safety. • Although military families cope well with short separations, deployments greater than six months can have adverse effects on children’s physical health, behavior and academic performance, potentially increasing depression and anxiety in military children. Most families do well after peacetime deployments since these deployments are usually safer and shorte… This is especially challenging for children who learn differently or have special needs. Children of military and veteran families experience unique challenges related to military life and culture. Moving means not only a new home but also new neighbors, new classmates, new teachers, a new classroom, new sports teams, and the list goes on. The Children of Military Service Members Challenges, Supports, and Future Educational Research. LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va., April 12, 2012 — EDITOR'S NOTE: Elizabeth Howe, the daughter of U.S. Air Force Brig. Previous research has found that the families that function most effectively during relocations and other major transitions related to military life tend to be active, optimistic, self-reliant and flexible. This article reviews existing research on military children and families, with attention to their strengths as well as their challenges. The effects on children with pre-existing psychological or other conditions of being a member of a military family at time of war also need to be examined. Constant moves and saying goodbye to friends takes a … Children may respond to this stress in different ways. Her winning commentary, which reflects on her experiences as a military child, is published in celebration of the Month of the Military Child. Positive youth development. I have travelled the world supporting my husband and have lived and breathed the challenges faced by this community. I am different because of my opportunities and challenges. The challenge is starting over in a new school, town, or new country; leaving friends and familiar places. Although these relocations may disrupt academic and social networks, military children often function as well as, or better than, non-military children. Below are four of the top challenges that our military kids face, some common difficulties kids experience as a reaction to those challenges, and some tips to help your children through them. Changing schools multiple times over, and navigating gains and losses that are inherent of military … If your child is serious about wanting to attend a military academy, you’ll need to start thinking about the application process during the early years of high school. A child of a deployed or recently returned service member may experience increased worry about the safety of their parent or anxiety when separated from either of their parents. Since many service members experience mental health problems upon their return, research is needed on the effect the service member’s mental and/or physical health concerns have on family members, including coping, adjustment and health concerns in grandparents, and others beyond the traditional nuclear family. Most importantly, being a military family has made us all very resilient. This emotional cycle of deployment begins when news of deployment is released to the family. Being part of a military family can be both incredibly rewarding and sometimes frustrating. It was sad not being able to celebrate things while he was gone, but it is one of those sacrifices you have to make as a military child. ... the majority of children are doing well despite those challenges. Being a military child is somewhat like being a part of an elite club. This also applies to child care services and pre-school enrollments. As most current studies only focus on the effects of deployment during the time of actual deployment, more long-term studies are needed to determine both the short and long-term effects of deployment on children and families. The Children of Military Service Members Challenges, Supports, and Future Educational Research. Publication Type – Peer-Reviewed Journal Article. Over 80 percent of these children – 1,105,267 students – attend Pre-K through 12 public schools. It’s refreshing to see recognition for the affect that has had on their lives. Editor’s Note: Elizabeth Howe, the daughter of U.S. Air Force Brig. Check in with your child’s doctor and seek support if you suspect your child might be struggling with a deployment or separation. An opportu-nity being a military child IS making new friends and seeing new places. And it’s usually not just a relocation down the street. At that time, only 15 percent of active-duty troops—who were nearly all men—were also parents, so the hardship on children was neither prominent nor researched. Anyone who has experienced a move knows how stressful it is. Life in the military has its challenges, but also opportunities. Military children face challenges others often do not encounter until adulthood. One in Five Minds and Clarity Child Guidance Center accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. Military life means moving a lot. These include deployment-related stresses such as parental separation, family reunification, and reintegration; disruption of relationships with friends and neighbors due to frequent moves; and adaptation to new schools and new community resources. Without focused support and resources, military children face social and emotional challenges, difficulty understanding policies and adjusting to curriculum and school climate, difficulty qualifying for or continuing with special education services, and … It's one of the many side effects of being a military brat. We’re in a unique position where we may meet someone one day in the United States, and either never see them again in your life or you may run into that person again years down the road, when you’re both living in a place like Germany. It’s easy to … To continue encouraging well-being among military children, parents and community members should work together to foster an open environment, where children can raise questions and concerns. Finally, future studies should explore the challenges specific to military families with a special needs child, and what additional support these families may need. I am different because of my opportunities and challenges. Shorter separations, usually around 1 month, are even more common, as many service members must often travel for trainings and military-related educational programs. 10) We speak a different language. The list can go on forever about the negatives of living in a military family, but there are also some really awesome things about being a military brat, such as becoming strong and … Although many children in military families adjust well to the challenges of military life, some children, especially those with special needs, may still face significant problems. With demands on service members and their families being greater now than in past years, policy makers might consider funding more support programs for family members as well. December 2011; ... to a greater number of child difficulties and well-being . For example, at FE Warren, AFB I’ve made a lot Kavitha Cardoza/WAMU Check Out The Full Story From WAMU's Breaking Ground Project Experts explain mental state of military children. When military families establish strong relationships and have strong, supportive social networks, they perform well and display more resiliency during challenging times. Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Veterans Strategic Analysis & Research Tool (V-START), Veterans Program for Politics and Civic Engagement. For example, even in the midst of feeling sad or anxious about the separation, family members may also feel pride for their service member. She served 20 years on active duty in the U.S. Army. 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