Thursday, April 24th, 2014
Military families face a number of challenges – and staying connected is one of the primary ones. A new website offers resources that can help – as described in this guest blog post by Dr. Peter Shore, Clinical Psychologist and Developer of Parenting for Service Members and Veterans.
With life’s continued distractions and separations, it’s easy for any parent to become disconnected from their child. Military parents face additional obstacles that can make it difficult to stay connected—physically and mentally—with their children.
Moves, deployment, reintegration and job stressors are all factors that may affect the nearly 1 million military parents and their families. That’s why The Department of Veterans Affairs partnered with The Department of Defense and a team of psychologists around the country to develop a website dedicated to helping Veterans and Service members further bond with their children and handle their parenting responsibilities.
Our effort, Parenting for Service Members and Veterans, is an interactive, self-paced online course, which guides parents to interact with their children in new ways and reinforces the good habits they already have. Each of the six online modules addresses a different challenge parents may face when raising their children including:
· Reintegrating into the family after deployment;
· Promoting positive parent-child communications;
· Helping children with difficult emotions and behaviors;
· Positive approaches to discipline; and
· Parenting when the mother or father has emotional and/or physical challenges.
Unlike other online courses, we focus more on the parent’s own behavior, rather than just how a parent manages a child’s behavior.
I recently caught up with Jason Hansman, Senior Program Manager of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and he had this to offer on the course:
“I found the Parenting site incredibly useful for both military members and Veterans. Raising children with the stresses that come with military service can seem daunting,” said Jason. “I can see having something to help you walk through some of these challenges on your own time as being very beneficial to Vets with families. This is one of the few products I’ve seen that addresses these unique challenges, especially in an on-demand format which appeals to younger Veterans.”
The course is not designed to replace or change a parenting style, but instead serves to supplement a parent’s existing knowledge and experience, and can be used as often as needed. The modules are designed for parents by parents and we have included videos with perspectives from real military families. The information from the courses any family and is not intended just for those experiencing parenting difficulties. While the course is anonymous, the tools and videos remind military parents that they are not alone!
No registration is required so Veterans can visit VeteranParenting.org to start the training today.
We want to hear from you. What are some other ways to help military families? Share in the comments below.