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Expectant and New Parents: This One’s For You!

 Posted by on January 17, 2012 at 17:58
Jan 172012
 

By Robert L. Gordon III

Military couples are resilient and strong. They have learned to adapt to challenges such as deployments and relocations, leveraging these times as opportunities for growth and exploration. But, when a couple finds out they are having a child, they confront a new set of challenges. New parents may have imagined being home to experience the first few months of their child’s life, but deployments can make that impossible.

New mothers and fathers may have imagined having their own parents close for support with their newborn, only to find themselves hundreds, if not thousands, of miles from extended family and friends. We understand the unique challenges that military parents must face, and there are resources and services in place to ensure that new parents—no matter where they are located—are empowered with the resources they need.

Your installation’s New Parent Support Program (NPSP) is designed to support military families with adapting to parenthood and to thrive. The program supports military families who are expecting a child or who have a child or children up to three years of age. The NPSP provides important benefits such as home visits by NPSP staff, supervised playgroups, parenting classes, and access to books, booklets, and other written materials on parenting.

NPSP staff members are credentialed professionals in your communities who know the answers to your questions and can refer you to additional resources when necessary. Information shared with the staff is confidential, so new parents can share their worries and concerns in a safe and non-judgmental environment with a supportive person.

During a requested home visit, the NPSP staff member provides advice regarding normal growth and development and addresses common concerns regarding issues such as nutrition, behavior management, sleep challenges, and more. New parents can also take parenting classes to learn more about positive parenting, family communication and problem solving. The NPSP can put you in touch with local resources, play groups, and other fun activities for your family.

What makes this program so valuable is the relationship that new parents form with the NPSP staff. If you are a new parent or you are expecting a child soon, I encourage you to contact your local NPSP and meet with a staff member as soon as you can. Sign up for free weekly emails full of advice and tips, or check out important information and podcasts on relevant parenting topics through MilitaryHOMEFRONT. Please join our discussion. Have you worked with your installation’s NPSP? Do you have additional advice for new parents or questions of your own? Please share your thoughts!

The first three years of child development are critical. The NPSP is here to help. Congratulations to all of our new military families and families-to-be out there! Until next time, be well!

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All materials copyright Military OneSource, 2012. Blog content held jointly by writer and Military OneSource, with shared rights to republish with appropriate attribution.