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Week 4: Parenting in Military Families
It was frustrating. I wanted to scream half the time. He was in the Gulf and I had to take care of my two daughters, one who was rebellious. Every time I set a consequence, she would e-mail her father and he would placate her. She played the two of us off each other. When he came home, he would end her grounding early so he could enjoy her time. It made a mess of things. Having to raise two girls alone for the most part was hard enough. Having him negate me almost broke us until we found a way to parent across the world.
—Kristin Wilkinson, Former Navy Spouse
(Laureate Education, 2014a)
This week, you will explore issues related to parenting in military families.
Learning Objectives
Students will:
Analyze parenting in military families
Evaluate approaches to providing parenting support
Evaluate stressors
Apply parenting strategies
Learning Resources
Required Readings
Cohen, E., Zerach, G., & Solomon, Z. (2011). The implication of combat-induced stress reaction, PTSD, and attachment in parenting among war veterans. Journal of Family Psychology, 25(5), 688-698.
Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Services and Department of Defense National Center for Telehealth and Technology. (n.d.). Parenting for service members and veterans. Retrieved June 16, 2014, from
DeVoe, E. R., & Ross, A. (2012). The parenting cycle of deployment. Military Medicine, 177(2), 184-190.
Sullivan, M. E. (2013). Introduction to the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act. Family Law Quarterly, 47(1), 97–135.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
Gewirtz, A. H., Pinna, K. M., Hanson, S. K., & Brockberg, D. (2014). Promoting parenting to support reintegrating military families: After deployment, adaptive parenting tools. Psychological Services, 11(1), 31-40.
Reschke, K. (2013, May 14). Insights from a military parent (part 1): The power of hearing their stories [Blog post]. Retrieved from
Reschke, K. (2013, May 28). Insights from a military parent (part 3): Why I’m reluctant to talk to you [Blog post]. Retrieved from
Reschke, K. (2013, June 4). Insights from a military parent (part 4): Responding to misbehavior with compassion [Blog post].Retrieved from
Required Media
Laureate Education (Producer). (2014a). The challenges of parenting in military families. [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
The approximate length of this media piece is 6 minutes.
Accessible player –Downloads–Download Video w/CCDownload AudioDownload Transcript
Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Family counseling [Multimedia file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Discussion 1: Parenting
Parenting can be challenging in any family. There are trials and tribulations related to issues such as parenting styles, life, and development stages. In military families, there are often unique challenges to consider. Reflect upon your knowledge about military culture and think about the challenges that can arise.
Review the media,The Challenges of Parenting in Military Families, in which military families talk about the challenges and successes of their parenting experiences during their military lives.
By Day 3
Post an explanation of what resonates most with you about the parenting challenges discussed in the media. How might you discuss the challenges and successes related to parenting with a family member who was seeking support? Explain whether your approach would be different if the individual was a parent or extended family member with custody of the military children, and explain how.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ posts.
By Day 5
Respond to two or more colleagues with support or alternative recommendations.
Return to this Discussion to read the responses to your initial post. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.
Discussion 2: Parenting Strategies for Deployed Families
For this Discussion, review the resources, including this week’s media, Family Counseling. After viewing the media clip Introduction, click on Alice – the mother – to read basic information about her and watch the video.
The video focuses on a mother who entered counseling due to issues related to her husband’s deployment. Think about her stress and anxiety and how this plays out in her parenting. How might a helping professional assist her in developing effective parenting strategies or techniques to improve the situation?
By Day 4
Post your responses to the following:
Is the stressor internal or external? Normative or nonnormative? Provide your rationale.
What information would you provide the parent about potential factors that could be fueling this situation?
As a helping professional, recommend a parenting strategy to assist her in improving the situation, explain how to apply the strategy, and explain how this strategy might be effective. Recommend an additional support service that the mother might benefit from and explain why.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ posts.
By Day 6
Respond to two or more colleagues with support or alternative recommendations.