Resiliency Tools Can Help Military Kids Develop Self-Advocacy

The Branch has identified some cool tools for military children to help them grow essential self-advocacy skills. They’re aimed at children ages four (4) through middle school. These free tools were created to promote resilience, the ability to adapt to adverse circumstances or trauma. Branch staff noticed that qualities which promote resilience are almost identical to qualities that promote self-advocacy, so these tools can be used for both:

Resilience                                                 Self-Advocacy

Self-awareness                                        Self-care/Healthy habits

Self-regulation                                         Self-awareness

Persistence                                              Self-regulation

Tolerance for adversity                           Self-determination

Self-care/Healthy habits                         Self-sufficiency

Military parents may find these tools valuable as they work with their child. They may have heard about the resources, but not realized how they can be used for self-advocacy in younger children. They are not a substitute for a parent modeling, but interactive tools that introduce topic or skills and let kids practice them over and over. All the tools are designed to be used directly by elementary and middle-school-age children (sometimes with adult help, depending on their abilities).

Military Youth on the Move (from MilitaryOneSource):  (external link)

Accessibility: all federal government websites are required to meet web accessibility standards.

How Military Children Can Prepare for Switching Schools (external link). Written for upper grade and middle-schoolers. Suggested actions promote persistence, self-determination, self-sufficiency

How to Stay in Touch After Moving as a Military Kid (external link).  Written for upper grade through high school. Suggested actions promote persistence, self-awareness, self-care, self-sufficiency

Staying in Touch with Old Friends (podcast, pdf-external link).  Upper grade school through high school. Promotes persistence, self-awareness, self-care, self-sufficiency

Sesame Street for Military Families: (external link)

Accessibility: If you have any difficulties or questions on accessing the site, especially the interactive web pages or the apps, message Sesame Street at

Video: The Big Moving Adventure (external link).  Description for parents of The Big Moving Adventure mobile app: (external link).  The same page has printables for children to use.  Designed for ages 2-5. Promotes self-awareness, self-sufficiency, tolerance for adversity. (external link)  Youth and children from The Electric Company provide avenues for identifying and exploring emotions and taking actions on them. Promotes self-awareness, tolerance for adversity, self-determination, self-care, persistence.

Create Art (external link): Interactive web page. Designed for children old enough to understand what a symbol means (paintbrushes, directional arrows). Promotes self-awareness, persistence, self-sufficiency.

Make Music (external link): Interactive web page. Probably Kindergarten / First grade on up.  Available music selections are from the “self-expression” segments of the website. Promotes self-awareness, persistence, self-determination, self-care, self-regulation.

The Electric Company Special Edition for Military Kids: (external link).  An online magazine about self-expression. Promotes self-awareness, tolerance for adversity, self-determination, self-care, persistence.


Qualities of resilience. (2016). Retrieved from

Institute on Educational Leadership. (2007) Am I learning to lead? [Self-assessment Tool]. Retrieved from

Click to access Am_I_Learning_to_Lead_Self_Assmt_Youth.pdf