Program for military parents is expanding

ITR’s first-of-its-kind parenting program for military parents has been making a splash in the Twin Cities media as it expands and continues to show positive outcomes.

After Deployment: Adaptive Parenting Tools (ADAPT), developed by ITR Director Dr. Abi Gewirtz, teaches parents how to regulate their emotions, build healthy relationships with their kids and partners, and set their children up for success at home and in school. It is rooted in more than 50 years of research on what makes parents effective, and several years of intensive research with military families.

The program is expanding to serve more families in a variety of settings: in-person groups, self-directed online, or with a coach over the internet. The program is open to military parents who have been deployed overseas since 2001 and have school-aged children. If you or someone you know is interested in being involved, click here.

The Star Tribune, WCCO-TV, KSTP-TV and the Minnesota Daily have all recently featured the program’s success in improving the lives of military parents and their children:

The skills required in leading a squad of soldiers in a combat zone are a stark contrast to those needed in dealing with a child who won’t pick up his coat off the floor. Gewirtz’s research focuses on prevention programs that promote child resilience among highly stressed families, including those affected by military deployment, war, domestic violence and homelessness.
– Star Tribune

In the US it’s estimated that close to 2 million children have a parent currently deployed. It’s the return home that finds parents looking for ways to ease back into the lives of their kids.

More than 300 MN national guard families are involved in the study. The research has shown to improve parenting confidence and skills, reduce PTSD symptoms, while boosting children’s behavior in schools.

As a result of her participation in ADAPT, Lenling said she has tools to better instruct and discipline her kids, as well as re-establish relationships with her family. “Mom doesn’t really yell anymore,” she said. “We’re just a much happier, more peaceful family.
– Minnesota Daily