Navigating Unique Challenges of Military Parenting in Columbus, Ohio

Military families in Columbus OH face unique challenges when it comes to parenting. Learn more about resources available to help them navigate these obstacles.

Navigating Unique Challenges of Military Parenting in Columbus, Ohio

Military families in Columbus, Ohio face unique challenges when it comes to parenting. From the stress of deployment to the lack of community connection, military families must find ways to navigate a variety of obstacles. An online resource created to help military youth ages 6 to 17 build resilience and cope with the challenges of military life provides information and tools. But what other things affect children from military families differently than other children?A family member may be absent for an indefinite period of time and the family may not know where they are during deployment.

This can cause older youth to take on a different role in the family. Single-parent military families face additional difficulties when it comes to child care, education, and housing while the military parent is deployed in the military; and that can sometimes happen with little warning. Families can live in a community without being truly connected to their community, and this can be very lonely. For example, they might be thanked for their service, but other people don't understand their life structure or know the unique challenges they face.

According to maps, military families live in every county in Ohio. As expected, the state's most populated areas also have more military families. Oftentimes, military families can live within hours of the facility where their unit is based. Children from military families talk about their experience having a family member overseas. Ty Dickerson and senior aviator Kaitlyn Dickerson, both assigned to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Ohio), examine a children's book during a biweekly home visit by Jessica Welz, a nurse in the New Parent Support Program at Wright-Patterson Medical Center. The Ohio Department of Education offers a number of programs to help military families and students.

Parents of children who have an Ohio identification card can also add their contact information to their child's record to use in case the child is lost or reported missing. Welz also stresses that participation in the program can encourage and ease a burden for both parents. The Ohio Attorney General's Office provides links for families including, but not limited to, general support, financial and energy assistance, housing, and education. They also offer confidential counseling by phone, in person, and online about money management, parenting services, relocation, deployment, and a variety of other services. Jenny Lobb talks with Justin Bower, outreach educator for Healthy Living and Ohio Military Kids, about how Ohio 4-H connects with military youth and their parents across the state. The Interservice Family Assistance Committee (ISFAC) is a statewide committee comprised of regional, state and federal agencies and organizations that meets quarterly to collaborate and allocate resources in support of Ohio's troops and military families. In addition to visits, the NPSP also offers courses on parenting and self-improvement such as Dads 101, Parenting with Love and Logic, Managing Anger for Healthy Relationships and Baby Basics. Ohio Military Kids (Ohio 4H youth Development) is a statewide initiative of the Ohio State Extension Office designed to support young people from military families throughout the deployment cycle.

This program provides resources such as educational materials for parents on how to best support their children during deployments or relocations. Military families must find ways to cope with these unique challenges while parenting in Columbus, Ohio. Resources such as those provided by the Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Attorney General's Office, Interservice Family Assistance Committee (ISFAC), New Parent Support Program (NPSP), and Ohio Military Kids (Ohio 4H youth Development) are available to help them navigate these obstacles.

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