Great App for Military Families
Babies on the Homefront is so much more than messaging—it’s designed to strengthen the bond separated service members have with their families. And it works!
by Jennifer Novak, Senior Writer and Training Specialist for Military Family Projects
As the wife of a service member, I can tell you that separations are hard. But they were even harder for my children. Every separation and transition caused an enormous amount of pain for our little ones. With a background in early childhood, I know that these moments of stress, worry, and feelings of loss can have a profound impact on children’s development and well-being–including how fast their brain grows! As a mother, I knew it was important to provide my children with a sense of security and to help maintain the connection they felt with their father while he was away.
My husband’s time as an active duty service member was full days, weeks, and months of separation due to deployment, training, work-ups, changes in work schedules–not to mention all the moving from one duty station to another! Babies on the Homefront is designed to keep up with the many transitions military families go through and to maximize the relationship that can be maintained long distance. Through secure messaging, creative baby games, sharing updates, and finding answers to all your parenting questions, this app has been a great tool for keeping my husband in the know.
Never Miss a Beat
“When do you think we will get to talk to Daddy again?” is a question that came up all too frequently in my military family. Depending on the type of separation, the ability to talk to their father could change dramatically. A week-long training out of town might still mean daily video calls, but a work-up at sea? They may not see him or hear his voice the entire time he was gone. It’s important for babies and toddlers to stay connected with the active duty parent as much as possible during deployment. A young child needs to know that his parent remains an important part of the family and that he is held in his parent’s heart and mind.
Through the app, you can make the parent away part of a daily or weekly routine. Gather around the app to look at shared photos and videos. Even if the parent is unable to call home as planned, record a video message that can be watched later instead. The parent at home can share memories of the deployed parent, including times that the parent spent with the young child. These stories can paint a vivid and loving picture of the deployed parent and the special role that parent played, and continues to play, in the child’s life.
Capturing Milestone Moments
The shared media gallery is more than a space to upload photos – it’s an opportunity to build a shared visual story of both photo and video content that can help keep the parent in the mind of the child and the child in the mind of the parent. While sharing moments is easier than ever with email and social media, there are still drawbacks – the military email system is often unreliable and isn’t a baby-friendly way of communicating. Staying connected through social media means forgoing privacy for the sake of staying in touch. This app has a safe and secure way to capture, upload, and share photos with service members away from home. Each photo and video is saved and collected in a timeline so that they can be replayed again and again.
The Right Answers at the Right Time
No matter how well I thought we had prepared our children – by being honest about what to expect, by talking to them about what was happening, by telling them about what daddy was doing when he was away – every separation and transition came with challenging behaviors and parenting challenges. I’ve looked for answers in parenting books, websites, apps, forums, and newsletters. Babies on the Homefront gives you access to parenting resources right in the app. The extensive in-app library provides quick resources and age-based tips for parents to learn more about child development, milestones, self-care, and resources for how to prepare for separations and reunifications.
Play Together, Stay Together
As your one-stop parenting app, Babies on the Homefront is filled with interactive game ideas and playful activities for babies and toddlers. Play simple touch screen games together designed to help young children learn or watch video clips demonstrating new activities and play ideas. Playing together is one of the best ways to encourage learning, to stimulate growth and development, and to help your child feel safe, loved, and special. There is no shortage of ideas to keep you and your young ones moving and learning at any age.
This app is the perfect solution for military families to stay connected. The needs of the military will always require family separations, but with Babies on the Homefront, you have the power to make this a little easier on our little ones and to strengthen the relationships parents have with their children and each other. This isn’t just good for children – it also empowers our fighting force through the security of knowing they can maintain their relationships with their children, even when they are away.
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