MFP-AESC_It-Takes-A-VillageMost children who aren’t military connected grow up not far from grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and lifelong family friends. When you are military, you move frequently and can’t rely on the usual extended family support for daily life. As a part of your self-care plan, it will be helpful for you to build your own “village” of support for your family and especially your child. How do you do this? Start with attending family activities offered by your community centers, or by your unit, so you can meet other families. Attend play mornings or join a local house of worship. Once you meet other parents, you can observe how they interact with their children. If you like what you see, suggest setting a time to get to know each other even better. You can meet at a local park and have your kids play together. By building relationships with others around you, it won’t be long before you have friends you can trust your children with. You can do child-care swaps and play dates together. This will really help as you deal with those difficult times when your family must cope with separations. This is also a great way to relieve stress—hang out with people you like! Build your village, one acquaintance at a time!