Military members and their families must be resilient. The deployment and homecoming are often emotionally and academically draining. To ensure children feel less isolated, there are a few steps people and communities can take. Encourage parents and guardians to be active in the school where their children attend. Their presence can give a sense of comfort and security.
Establish a buddy system so there will be a friendly face at school for the children and someone to sit with at lunch.
Promote extracurricular activities to provide a chance to meet classmates and to feel a part of the school. If the students have come in later in the semester, encourage coaches to find a place for them to participate.
Encourage children to be part of a sports team. Sports provide children with a physical outlet and give children a place to keep in shape and learn team work.
Volunteer to help students with school work. This gives students someone to turn to for asking questions in a low-stress environment.
Mainly, make a connection with the children that might need a little more consideration because of their situation.
National organizations like 4-H, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts give them a good base of activity and friendly faces wherever they move. Military children are in almost every community in the U.S. Taking the time to ease their moves around the country and understanding what they are going through, will go a long way in giving these children a better environment.
For more information about military children and academics, consult http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=61439.
For more information on what you can do for military children, contact the Logan County Cooperative Extension Service.
Source: Carole Gnatuk, Senior Extension Child Development Specialist; Kerri Ashurst, Senior Extension Specialist and Judy Van De Venne, Extension Specialist