Updated Website Offers Resources for Military Kids

Despite the best of intentions, it can be hard for adults to completely understand the experience of being a kid in a military family. Not even the most sympathetic parent, teacher, or coach can fully comprehend what it’s like to watch your mom or dad go off to war, or to be the new kid in class once again. Sometimes there’s no substitute for another military kid who has been through the same experience. But what about the child who doesn’t have friends from other military families? Where can he or she turn for support?

To answer this need, the Defense Department created MilitaryKidsConnect. The site, which is an initiative of the National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2), includes age-appropriate games and activities designed to help children manage challenges such as moving and deployment. There are activities to teach kids about the countries where their parents are deployed, tips to help children know what to expect when their parent returns, and videos made by and for military kids. The sections for tweens and teens feature secure message boards that allow children to share their stories with other military kids. The site also includes pages for parents, caregivers, and teachers which offer strategies for helping children cope and links to useful resources.

Since its launch in January 2012, the MilitaryKidsConnect has served more than 125,000 visitors and won five industry excellence awards. To mark the one-year anniversary, the website added new content designed for children, parents, and educators. Visitors to the site will now find new features such as graphic novels and mini-documentaries by military kids sharing their experiences. The site also includes lesson plans and information on military culture to help teachers, school counselors, and educators to better understand the differences between military and civilian youth. The site will continue to add updated information and features with the goal of helping military children – and the adults who care for them – cope with the challenges of military life.

(Source: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=119081)

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