10 Ways for Military Kids to Connect with Deployed Parents

The Feel Electric activities from the Sesame Workshop. © 2011 Sesame Workshop

Finding creative ways to stay connected as a military family when a parent deploys is behind the new, “Let It Out” campaign created by Sesame Workshop in collaboration with Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury.

The first seven tips come from the new bilingual website for military families, Military Families Near and Far:

  1. Compose a letter, make a notebook entry, write a story or create a greeting card message.
  2. If you don’t know the words, choose emoticons to help express how you’re feeling that day and make notes to keep track of them in your notebook.
  3. Create a personal profile page so you have a home on the  site.
  4. Make art and combine it with stickers, family photos, art you’ve created.
  5. Record your own music using beats, vocals and your own recordings.
  6. Add your art, music and messages to your family scrapbook page to share with family and friends.
  7. Check out resources addressing deployments, homecomings and more.
  8. Feel Electric! – a free mobile application that encourages kids to explore and express their emotions; available for iPad, iPhone and Android users.
  9. The Electric Company magazine for kids is an online tool to help kids cope with challenging situations.
  10. The Electric Company Extended Learning Program offers after school learning resources to educators; for more information about the extended learning curriculum, email militaryfamilies@sesame.org.

You can read the full article by the Defense Centers for Excellence about the new “Let It Out” campaign HERE.

Wars’ Impact on Children Webinar and More

The  webinar, Indirect Neurotrauma: The Impact of War on Children, is set for April 28th and one of the 2011 monthly series scheduled by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. The online sessions offer an opportunity to “dialogue” with experts in various fields from both government and non-governmental organizations as well as listing a range of resources.

This is the second year the Webinars are being offered. Audio from 2010 Webinars also is available on topics like”Sports, the Military and Recurrent Concussion” and “Case Studies of Successful State Reintegration.”

Here’s the 2011 schedule:

Jan. 27: Peer-to-Peer Support Model Program

Feb. 24: Compassion Fatigue

March 24: Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Co-occurring Psychological Health Disorders:
Focus on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury with Co-occurring Psychological Health
Disorders Toolkit

April 28: Indirect Neurotrauma: The Impact of War on Children

May 26: Operational Stress and In Theater Care

June 23: Anatomical/Physiological Changes Secondary to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

July 28: Reintegrative Medicine: Focusing on Family and Clinical Perspective, and
Adaptation Following Incident

Aug. 25: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Natural Disasters

Sept. 22: Neuropathophysiology of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Oct. 27: Generational Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Post Traumatic Growth

Nov. 17: Holidays Apart from Family

December: No event due to the holidays

What better way to end 2010 than with “A Creed for a Comrade” – this video produced by the Defense Centers for Excellence:

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