Family Support - Family Life Education

To help active duty military members (single and married) and their family enhance their effectiveness at home or work, Fleet and Family Support Centers' professional counselors and educators offer Life Skills services and programs that foster good relations, healthy families, and strong marriages.

Classes, Workshops & Training

Ready Navy
When an emergency strikes, knowing what to do can save lives, property, and time. One of the most important tools you or your family can have to protect yourself in possible emergencies is a Family Emergency Plan. It is important to plan ahead as a family for all types of emergencies and responses. Everyone in the family should understand what to do, where to go, and what to take in the event of an emergency. Learn how to prepare, respond, and recover with Fleet & Family Support Center's Operation Prepare public awareness program.

Welcome To The Military
Are you newly married or getting married soon? Are you new to the area or to the military? Join us at this one-session workshop which provides a wide variety of helpful information about military life, including the challenges of deployment, expectations of the military, preparation for a mobile lifestyle, pay and allowances, housing, medical and dental care, recreational activities, TRICARE, financial planning, and more.

Personal Communications
Would you like to improve your personal communication skills? This educational group can make a difference! Participants learn about different communication styles, conflict resolution, and ways to develop more effective speaking and listening skills. Open to active duty military and family members.

Building Healthy Relationships
The purpose of this training is to provide tools to enhance healthy relationships and educate military personnel and their families how to successfully nurture intimate relationships. Topics include emotional record keeping, expectations, communication and developing healthy habits.

Children and Divorce
This four-hour workshop addresses the pain and loss of a family breakup from the child’s perspective. Topics of discussion include typical reactions of children of different ages, things children need to hear, and what parents can do to help them through the pain. Suggestions for the non-custodial parent are also provided. This class meets the Virginia State Law mandate requiring divorcing parents of minors to attend four hours of parent education.

Couples Workshop
Do you have trouble communicating with your partner? Do you find yourselves arguing a lot? This two-session workshop will help you improve your day-to-day communication, learn how to fight fair, problem-solve, and strengthen your relationship. Open to military beneficiaries and their partners.

Dads and Discipline
The culture of fatherhood is changing as dads become increasingly involved with their children. Dads are often seen as “disciplinarians,” yet come to the job with no specific training. This interactive, single-session class provides an opportunity for fathers to gain valuable, practical information about parenting. Participants will discuss parenting styles and learn effective discipline techniques to help raise responsible, well-behaved children.

Dual Military Parenting
Dual Military Parents face unique challenges in balancing military careers and family responsibilities. This workshop is intended to assist Dual Military Parents navigate their unique military family lifestyle. Discussion topics include Building Healthy Relationships, Deployment Readiness, Parenting in a Military Family, Family Care Plan, Career Planning, and sharing challenges and successes with Dual Military Parents.

Enhancing Stepfamilies
This single-session workshop includes discussions on the myths of stepfamily living, the different roles a stepparent may assume, the stages a stepfamily goes through as they develop, and tips for handling discipline. The discussion also includes information on step parenting in a military family.

Foreign-Born Spouses Support Group
Feeling lonely, homesick, or isolated? Just want to talk to someone from your part of the world? Join other foreign-born military spouses to network and share resources, discuss the American way of life, develop friendships, receive monthly newsletters, and learn about the many resources available to make your new life experience positive.

Love Thinks
Are you tired of the same dating traps like becoming involved too quickly, dishonesty from the start, or overlooking problem areas? Learn how to avoid common dating missteps when developing a new romance by attending “Love Thinks,” a program for single or newly-dating military members who are tired of playing dating games and are ready to keep it real.

New Parent Resource Awareness Workshop
This four-hour workshop assists expectant servicewomen as they make the transition into parenthood. Topics discussed include the Navy’s policy on pregnant servicewomen, Navy Family Care Plans, housing information, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society and information about their Budgeting for Baby program, child care resources, FFSC programs and services, the WIC program, and information on career planning. Registration is open to first time expectant servicewomen. Their partners are strongly encouraged to attend with them.

Parenting 411
This workshop provides expectant parents with information on what to expect from a newborn, as well as basic parenting skills for service members. Topics discussed are stages of development, how to handle crying, temper tantrums and alternative measures for discipline. Registration is open to first time expectant service members.

Parenting in a Military Family
This workshop explores what it means to discipline children and the ways it can be accomplished most effectively. It includes strategies for encouraging children to behave appropriately, communicating in ways that really work, and increasing cooperation. Participants discuss attention-seeking behaviors and how parents can best respond to them. Additional topics include child development, temperament, expecting and giving respect, and the impact that a military lifestyle has on children.

Parenting Teens
This single-session workshop presents the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional developmental characteristics of teens, and parents’ reactions to the way adolescents handle these changes. Discussion topics include building healthy relationships, avoiding power struggles, and providing guidelines. This is an overview of the in-depth STEP Teens multi-session program.

Single Parenting in the Military
This single-session workshop explores ways for active duty single parents to balance their military and parental responsibilities and looks at the opportunities and challenges of parenting alone in the military. Discussion topics include dealing with changes, co-parenting, talking with your children about his/her other parent, dating, resources for single military parents, and more.

Systematic Training for Effective Parenting (STEP)

  • Early Childhood
    This seven-session class helps parents develop a positive and consistent approach for dealing with the special challenges of children under age six. Topics include understanding developmental sequences and accomplishments of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers; building effective discipline skills, developing skills for communicating effectively with young children, and much more.
  • School-age
    This seven-session program offers participants a wealth of information and skills for parenting 5 to 12-year-olds. Learn ways to help your children become more responsible, respectful, and cooperative. Topics include communication, discipline, the goals of misbehavior, mutual respect, and family meetings.
  • Teen
    This seven-session workshop covers all of the STEP principles plus information on understanding why teens misbehave, peer pressure, excitement, and superiority. Topics include discouraging and encouraging atmospheres; rational and irrational parent responses to emotional scenes; listening and communicating respectfully; and experiencing consequences and exploring alternatives. Realistic video segments on teen experimentation with drugs, alcohol, and sex generate parent discussion of coping strategies explained in the text Parenting Teenagers.

What About the Kids
This is a 1½  to 2-hour workshop located Naval Submarine Base New London designed to educate couples with children who have been or are involved in domestic violence.  The primary objective of the workshop is to educate parents on the impact of domestic violence on the overall development of their children, regardless of the age of the child and whether or not the child actually witnessed the domestic violence.