Vermont National Guard Logo News
News | April 13, 2021

Family Programs class offers parenting, relationship tips

By Don Branum Vermont National Guard Public Affairs

The Vermont National Guard Family Programs Office held an online seminar on April 7 to give parents tips to strengthen their relationships with their children as family members deploy or prepare for deployment. 

The class, titled “Military Youth Can Thrive, Not Just Survive,” was offered as part of the Family Programs Office’s observance of Month of the Military Child, with Brian Stoudnour, the presenter and lead child and youth program coordinator, wearing purple for the occasion. 

Stoudnour’s one-hour presentation was based on the Search Institute’s developmental relationships framework, which uses five elements, each comprising four actions, to make young people’s relationships stronger.  

“All the relationships we have in our lives have a developmental purpose,” Stoudnour said. “When we talk about a developmental relationship, we’re talking about creating those relationships that help you thrive.”  

The framework is designed to be relevant across all developmental stages, from infancy to retirement, Stoudnour said, and help people adapt their relationships as their needs evolve. 

“The relationship you have with your mother now as an adult is not the same relationship you had with your mother when you were 12 years old,” he said. “Your relationship has changed based on your developmental needs.” 

The five critical elements, Stoudnour said, are to express care, to challenge growth, to provide support, share power, and to expand possibilities. Expressing care means showing the other person in a relationship that they matter, he explained. Challenging growth means pushing the child toward continual self-improvement. Providing support means helping children complete tasks and achieve goals. Finally, sharing power means treating children with respect and giving them a say in what’s happening in their families and in their lives. Stoudnour gave an example of what power sharing might look like in a household. 

“Our boys are allowed one and a half hours of screen time per day. They are free to choose how they use that hour and a half,” Stoudnour said. “We also gave them the power to choose when they get that hour and a half within their day as long as it’s outside of school. Within that framework, they have freedom to move around and share power within that framework.” 

Nick Thomas, a military and family center readiness specialist, asked if that meant setting boundaries ahead of time and providing choices that fit within those boundaries. 

“My wife and I had several conversations leading up to that family meeting, so we knew what our framework was going to be, and then allowed them to pick and choose within that framework,” Stoudnour said. “It’s a constant dance: They always want more or less of something or the other, so what are we willing to give them … and what are we not? And it’s different for every household.” 

Different types of relationships can be developmental, Stoudnour said, and it’s important for children to have a variety of relationships. 

“Young people are most likely to do well when they have at least one strong, well-rounded and sustained relationship in their lives, as well as a broader web of relationships across the places they spend time and the people they spend time with,” he said. Outside the home, children should have a positive relationship with an aunt or uncle or a mentor such as a coach or teacher who can help them develop. It will also be crucial to help children rebuild friendships with others their age as pandemic restrictions are gradually lifted. 

“We have to help them re-engage in relationships with their peers because they’ve lost these,” Stoudnour said. “We need to start preparing ourselves now to getting them out there and getting them reconnected. We need to connect our youth with other youth.”

National Guard News
U.S. Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, jokes with Lt. Col. Steven, 325th Weapons Squadron director of operations, before a Weapons School Integration exercise sortie at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, June 1, 2022. The chief of the National Guard Bureau serves as a military adviser to the president, secretary of defense and National Security Council and is the Department of Defense’s official channel of communication to the governors and state adjutants general on all matters pertaining to the National Guard.
National Guard Bureau Chief Visits 325th Weapons Squadron
By Tech. Sgt. Morgan Whitehouse, | June 15, 2022
ARLINGTON, Va. – Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, visited students, instructors and support personnel from the 325th Weapons Squadron taking part in graduation week at the U.S. Air Force Weapons...

New York Air National Guard Master Sgt. Eric Wintersteen, a crew chief assigned to the 174th  Attack Wing's Maintenance Group, explains the airframe and engine inspection he is performing on a remotely piloted MQ-9 Reaper aircraft to   Brazilian Air Force officers visiting Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, New York, June 6, 2022. The stop was part of a week-long tour of New York Air National Guard facilities by Brazilian officers and NCOs as part of the State Partnership Program.
New York Air National Guard hosts SPP partner Brazil
By Eric Durr, | June 15, 2022
ROME, N.Y. - The New York Air National Guard hosted the commander of Brazil’s Aerospace Operations Command, part of a nine-person Brazilian Air Force delegation, during a week-long engagement focused on space operations,...

Alabama National Guard Pfc. Elioenai Campos in Columbiana, Alabama, June 10, 2022. Campos is part of the U.S. national jiujitsu team set to compete for international honors at the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, July 7-17, 2022.
Alabama Soldier to represent America in 2022 World Games
By Alabama National Guard | June 15, 2022
COLUMBIANA, Ala. – When Alabama National Guard Pfc. Elioenai Campos enters the coliseum in July, it will be the culmination of 26 years of literal blood, sweat and tears.Campos, an infantryman assigned to the 1-167th Infantry...

Montana National Guard aircrews search for flood victims June 13-14 in South Central Montana. At least a dozen people were rescued.
Montana National Guard aircrews rescue flood victims
By Montana National Guard | June 15, 2022
FORT HARRISON, Mont. – Montana National Guard helicopter crews rescued dozens of flood victims this week.At the request of local officials, the Montana National Guard continues to assist with search and rescue operations due...

Pfc. John Beckman, a carpentry and masonry specialist with the 2120th Engineer Company, participates in the Cherokee Nation Civil Engineering Innovative Readiness Training June 9, 2022, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Air and Army National Guard members work in two-week rotations from April to August, building seven homes each year for low-income or homeless military veterans of Cherokee Nation.
National Guard builds homes for Cherokee vets during IRT
By Staff Sgt. Victoria Nelson, | June 15, 2022
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Under the blazing Oklahoma sun, the sounds of construction reverberate through a building site on Cherokee Nation land. Hammers, nail guns and electric saws are guided by the hands of National Guard members...