Almost two million children have parents in the military, and each one of those children make sacrifices every day.
April is the Month of the Military Child, and was created to raise awareness and recognize the important role military children play in our community.
Having parents that are deployed or away for training exercises impacts a child’s life, and the contributions they make to our country every day without hesitation should be honored.
According to the Department of Defense there are 1.88 million military children, 1,177,972 of active duty service members and 716,879 of reservists.
A vast majority of these children are school aged, and the average military family will move 6 to 9 times during their children’s school career. That’s three times more than their nonmilitary counterparts. The amount of change and stress military children undergo is something that statistics can’t measure. Picking up your life and moving to another state or country and making new friends at school and in the neighborhood are scary.
Military children are brave and courageous just like their parents are.
The experiences they have growing up will ultimately affect decisions they make as adults and their careers. Nonmilitary children are less likely to be exposed to an always-changing environment and parents leaving with a risk of not returning home. Some children grow up with only memories of their mothers or fathers who lost their lives serving our country.
Be sure to show your children they are appreciated for the role they play in our community, and how important they are to the success of your family.
With all of the stressors of this lifestyle, ensuring your children are mentally healthy and happy is crucial. There are many resources for military parents, and DoDLive.mil has provided helpful information such as childcare during deployments, behavioral management, and parenting for young/infant children. Your family service offices on base will be of great aid to you as well.
Being a military kid is actually pretty cool, too.
“Take your child to work day” probably entails getting to see planes, ships, tanks, fire trucks, and offices with tons of people in uniform. You may have gotten to try to pick up a 40-pound pack or even tasted an MRE. Teenagers have access to cheaper gas, snacks, movies and shopping. You have a sense of adaptability and compassion that is respectable and admirable.
Check out #KidsServeToo for some awesome photos parents have been sharing. Our children and teenagers are the most important things in our lives; let’s make sure they get the appreciation they deserve for the sacrifices they make as military kids!
“Month of the Military Child.” U.S. Department of Defense. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.
Lange, Katie. “Raising a Military Child: Know Your Resources.” DoD Live. U.S. Department of Defense, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.
Lyle, Amaani. “Month of the Military Child Recognizes Young Family Members.” U.S. Department of Defense. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.