How to Keep a Deployed Parent Present in the Home

Having a parent or spouse in the military can be tough, especially when the child is young. It is important for a child and parent to bond, and this can be difficult while the parent is deployed.

Steps

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    Write the deployed parent letters with the kids. This can be a fun way for the kids to keep in contact with their parent. Keep it fun by having them send pictures they have drawn along with handwritten letters or have them color the letters. If the child is too young to write, ask them what they want you to write to them and write it yourself.
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    Send packages. Take the kids to the store and have them get things that they think the parent will like and send it. You can also have them send something handmade like a painting. Make it a fun event that everyone gets together to do.
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    Have the kids talk on the phone with the deployed parent. Just hearing their voice can make them seem like they are there with you and the kids. Make sure each kid gets the same amount of time to talk to the parent or one may feel unimportant to them.
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    Use Skype or a similar app/program to keep in touch. Video chatting is an even better way of keeping in touch because the kids can see and hear the deployed parent. These things are important for bonding between the parent and kids.
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    Keep recent photos of the deployed parent around the house. This keeps their image in the house and will make the kids think about the parent more. Making sure the kids think about the parent is essential to keeping the parent's presence in the home.
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    Talk with your child/children about how they feel about their parent being deployed. It is important for a kid in this situation to share their feelings with someone so they don't bottle them up. Older kids will be more understanding than younger children. You may need to explain to younger children where their parent is and why in a way they understand.
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    Use as many of these techniques as possible, rather than just one. The more ways they interact, the better.

Article Info

Categories: Careers in the Military