An online tool is available to help veteran and service member families learn healthy ways to address the many parenting challenges that can arise during deployment, reintegration and long after coming home.

"Parenting for Service Members and Veterans," a free Web-based course available at Veteran Parenting, features six modules on topics ranging from positive approaches to disciplining your child, to parenting effectively in the face of your own emotional and physical difficulties, to promoting positive parent-child communication. The course is part of an integrated mental health strategy launched by the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense in 2009, whose aim is to turn broad, joint mental health recommendations into specific, actionable goals.

Psychologist Peter Shore, PsyD, of the VA Northwest Health Network, led a national team of parenting experts to develop the course. In addition to a core curriculum, it features videos from two military families who openly discuss parenting challenges in the context of military life.

"These families opened their homes and hearts in the spirit of helping others," says Shore. "I believe our learners will be touched by the videos, and I hope this course will aid in their learning and healing."

— Jamie Chamberlin