Help for military families on the go

A new mobile app from Zero to Three helps military and veteran parents and caregivers support young children.

Being a military-connected family can expose families to unique situations.

Being a military-connected family can expose families to unique situations.

Being a military-connected or veteran family can be challenging and can expose families to unique situations such as deployments, homecomings, frequent relocations, injuries or death of service members, in addition to the normal stressors that families experience in everyday life. It can be challenging knowing where to go for help in supporting young children through these situations.

A new resource from Zero to Three can help military and veteran families with resources and information related to parenting young children directly from their mobile device. This free mobile app, called “Babies on the Homefront,” is made possible by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and contains information for military and veteran parents on general parenting topics such as biting, temper tantrums, literacy activities for babies as well as many others. The app also includes military and veteran specific information such as navigating deployment, homecoming, hospitals and injuries and much more. The app provides written information and tips as well as videos to help parents understand and find support to help their children.

In addition, the app also has ideas for play time that parents can do with their children while experiencing special circumstances such as homecomings, deployments and hospital visits. Each of the ideas listed under the topics have activities parents can do with their children to help support them through those situations.

The free mobile app also focuses on self-care for parents and caregivers. It gives easy ideas on how to integrate self-care into daily routines and ensure parents and caregivers are taking the time to care for themselves in order to be at the best for their children.

A final option within the app is the opportunity to teach the importance of feelings to young children by taking different pictures of your child showing different emotions. By naming emotions with pictures, it is easier for parents to help young children understand what they are feeling and express their emotions in healthy ways.

The “Babies on the Homefront” app provides instant access to helpful parenting information to military and veteran parents and caregivers of young children while they are on the go and from any mobile device. The app can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple store or Google play.

If you are interested in activities that can help your family prepare for an upcoming deployment, visit the Michigan State University Extension website and take a look at the 4-H Military Family Book Sheets. These are helpful activities to help families during deployment based around children’s books. 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. Also read “Deployment: The emotional cycle of military children,” which explains each stage of the deployment cycle and gives helpful activities you can do to keep your family connected. You can also find additional deployment support information on the Military OneSource website.

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