All members of a military family serve, including military children. That’s why in April during Month of the Military Child, the Red Cross focuses on the unique needs of military children. According to the Department of Defense, there are 1.6 million U.S. military children worldwide and on average they move locations three times more than non-military children.
When a U.S. service member takes the oath to enlist, their entire family is affected. Being a military kid is not always easy, they experience the challenges of frequent moves, multiple schools, making new friends, parental separation and, in some cases, loss of a parent. For a military child, understanding how to cope with these unique life changes and building natural resiliency is key.
“Without focused support and resources, military children could face social and emotional challenges,” said Vanessa Valdez, Communications Manager. “They may experience difficulty understanding and adjusting. Military kids also report elevated stressors and often experience depression and anxiety making it essential to provide them support.”
At the American Red Cross, we know support for military families as a whole develops strong, resilient military kids.
- The American Red Cross offerings free, confidential mental wellness classes led by mental health professionals for the whole military family.
- Classes for children are broken out by age and offered to children from ages 5 to 17.
- Offerings include child reconnection workshops specifically designed to ease the challenges of family reintegration after deployments.
- Two other popular workshops are “Roger That! Communication Counts,” which focuses on self-confidence and communication strategies, and “Operation 10-4: Confident Coping,” a session that includes hands-on activities designed to combat stress.
- Other classes help military families connect, including tips for service members on how to smoothly reconnect with their children when they return from deployments and planning for how to manage extended periods of separation.
- Visit here to find out more about our resiliency programs. To learn more about other Red Cross SAF programs to support members of the military and our veterans, contact your local Red Cross chapter.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
If you are a military mom or dad that is seeking support for your family, we encourage you to connect with us by visiting our website at redcross.org or by calling us at 1-877-272-7337. You can also learn more by downloading the Red Cross Hero Care App, available for all devices.
If you would like to volunteer to help support military kids and parents in need, please visit redcross.org/volunteer to sign up.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.