This is the third in a series of articles from MSU Extension.
Did you know that there are more than 20,000 military children and youth in the state of Michigan? All branches of the military both active, guard and reserves are represented among Michigan’s military families. Chances are there is a military child or youth in the community or school where you live.
Our military children and youth look exactly like non-military children and youth however they do experience special situations and circumstances that are related to being a military connected child or youth.
One of these unique challenges includes having service members deploy. According to the Parent’s Guide to the Military Child during Deployment and Reunion, deployment can be defined as “the movement of an individual or military unit within the United States or to an overseas location to accomplish a task or mission”. These missions or tasks can be training activities, supporting communities during times of disaster, helping foreign countries or fighting in a war. Deployment can be a very difficult time for both service members and their families.
Resources from Sesame Street
Finding resources to help support your family before, during and after deployment can be overwhelming! Did you know that Sesame Street offers specific support to military families experiencing deployment through the Listen, Talk, Connect tool kit? The tool kit helps support military families with children
between the ages of 2 and 5 as they cope with the feelings, challenges and concerns experienced during different stages of deployment. The Listen, Talk, Connect DVD tool kit includes the video Talk, Listen, Connect: Helping Military Families During Military Deployment. The kit also includes video and parent/caregiver materials designed to help children of injured veterans and other returning service members adjust to the changes in their parents. In addition, there are links to helpful websites, videos, and materials that parents and caregivers can download to help support their children during all phases of the deployment cycle.
Wishing that you could take these materials with you while you are on the move? Now Sesame Street also offers a mobile app that is compatible with Iphones, Ipads and Android phones. The Sesame Street for Military Families app allows military families to access videos, articles, storybooks, parent guides and more to help support military children through transitions they may experience in a military connected family. To download the FREE Sesame Street for Military Families app visit the Apple or Android store.
If you are looking for more articles about deployment support, check out Finding Support for Children and Youth with Deployed Family Members for a helpful checklist on who might support your child or youth during your service member’s deployment and the Emotional Cycle of Deployment that explains each stage of the deployment cycle and gives helpful things you can do to keep your family connected.. You can also find additional deployment support information on the Military OneSource website, the Operation: Military Kids website and the 4-H Military Partnerships website.
Kendra Moyses works in the areas of early childhood and youth development with special focus on developing life skills and working with military families for Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development.