Military Family Month Tips

Military soldier with wife and son

Military Family Month Tips

November is Military Family Month, and as a leading nonprofit dedicated to strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the YMCA of the Suncoast offers the following tips to help children of military families in the Tampa Bay area cope while loved ones serve overseas. 

  1. Avoid the Countdown: Try not to focus on the expected homecoming date of a loved one serving overseas as these dates can change. Instead, emphasize how mom or dad will be home once the work is done.

  2. Give a Geography Lesson: Using maps and books to learn more about the place or region where the parent is stationed will empower children and provide some comfort.      

  3. Family Ties that Bind: Help children stay connected during separation by building holiday care packages for the parent and taking advantage of services like United Through Reading that videotapes a parent reading their child’s favorite book or the Armed Services YMCA’s Operation Kid Comfort program that provides a personally handcrafted quilt or pillow. 

  4. Monitor the Media: News stories can scare or alarm children, keep an eye on their media exposure and be prepared to answer questions prompted by what they see and hear.

  5. Take Advantage of the Internet: Utilize Facebook, Skype and other chat services to keep in touch with the parent in real-time. This will let children know their parent is safe while providing important bonding time.  

For more information on military family support at the Y, visit our armed services site