Ed. note: This is part of a series of blogs about wellness issues for Military Families, Veterans, and Service members. Check back for more Wellness Wednesday blogs, where we will cover topics relevant to the holistic health of the military and veteran communities.
In my work, it never ceases to amaze me how military families are able to navigate the variety of challenges that military life presents. Helping children learn skills to cope with frequent moves and separations due to deployments, to handle difficult encounters with peers, and to clear other emotional hurdles are only a few of the strains on military parents.
The Department of Defense and Military OneSource understand what military families face and as a result offer quality, no-cost, multimedia resources from Sesame Workshop. These resources can help military parents and children talk openly about common, everyday challenges, and teach children skills to guide them through a variety of both big and small life obstacles.
Sesame Workshop products bring critical educational, emotional, social, and health and wellness lessons to children in an approachable way — through the use of the popular Sesame Street characters. The products, available on Military OneSource, include “Talk, Listen, Connect,” a series for children of deployed parents; “Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce,” for children whose parents are going through a divorce; “When Families Grieve,” a tool kit for children who have lost a loved one; and the latest product, “Little Children, Big Challenges: Resilience.”
I am happy to announce that the most recent release in this series contains a book and DVD designed to help children ages 2 to 5 build important resilience and perseverance skills that will allow them to overcome challenges large and small. The multimedia tool kit is designed to boost children’s self-esteem, help them develop problem-solving and conflict resolution skills, and encourage them to express their feelings in positive ways.
Families can visit the Sesame Street website for other helpful products, including their free app, “Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame,” which teaches children to pause and consider their responses to everyday challenges. The Sesame characters make learning self-regulation and interpersonal skills fun.
Whether our children are faced with a minor conflict, mean or aggressive behavior, or a life-changing event like divorce or deployment, the anxiety these experiences may cause could be overwhelming for them, no matter how strong the family is. Sesame Workshop’s resilience initiative is focused on helping children face these tough situations successfully.
I encourage our military families to visit Military OneSource and check out all of the no cost materials offered. Let the Sesame Street characters help you and your family start discussions about life’s complex situations.
Rory Brosius is the Deputy Director for Joining Forces.