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Guide Helping Your Young Child Cope with a Parents Deployment

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Supporting Your Child While a Parent Is Deployed

Digital videos What is a digital video? How to help small children through deployment. But, you can be a parent from thousands of miles away if you need to. Here's a way how.

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Things you'll need Patience Creativity Communication Love Compassion Step 1 If your children are toddlers or infants and you have to be gone on a military deployment, you can still be part of their lives. Be creative.


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If you don't have access to e-mail, then take still pictures and send them home Draw pictures for your children and send them home. It's always important your child has something they can hold that reminds them of the deployed parent If you can't make videos, then leave messages on voice mail the parent at home can replay for the child. Hearing the deployed parent's voice can make a big difference Step 2 Video tape yourself speaking to your child and send it home. Step 3 Before you deploy, record yourself reading a book to your child. Step 4 It's important your child sees your face and hears your voice.

Step 5 If your children are old enough to speak then tell them Mum or Dad had to go away for a while. Step 6 Have something to give your child that is from the deployed parent. Step 7 As sad as it is, always prepare for the worst. Step 8 Understand when you do come home, even with all the communication in the world, it may take a while for your child to warm up to you.

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Helping Your Child Prepare for a Parent’s Deployment • ZERO TO THREE

Facebook Young Diggers Facebook Page. Military Family Deployment Preparing for deployment can seem like an uphill battle. But we've been there. Here's what you need to know. Military Spouse Education Help Good news for you: Being a military spouse can actually make some parts of going back to school easier.

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Military Family Life Military life is not easy, but we've got your back. From marriage to kids and parenting, we have the resources you need. Military Spouse Videos. The Reunion. A heart warming surprise reunion between a long-deployed military mother and her graduating daughter. Little Soldier Pins Proud Sergeant. Marine Surprises Dad while Disguised as a Waiter. Yes, military life has its challenges, and military kids bear some of that weight. But this is also the only life they know. And if they go to school on base or have a lot of military friends, then they probably think it is a very normal life.

This is the only childhood they know. I have written a lot about getting military kids through deployment. You can see the highlights below, or download the entire guide here. They may seem too young to understand anything about deployment, but they will notice the absence of a parent. They are also very aware of the stress levels in the parent who remains behind. So try to take care of yourself and keep as calm as possible. If your baby is born during the deployment, you may wonder how they will adjust to their deployed parent after Homecoming Day. You can take steps to prepare baby during the deployment by showing pictures of the deployed parent, and hanging them around the crib or swing.

You can play videos so baby can hear his voice. It happens.


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Dad will just be happy to see the baby, and they will have plenty of time to get to know each other later. Toddlers are a challenge even without deployments, so they are an extra handful when a parent is deployed! Somehow, I have managed to have a 2 or 3-year-old for our last four deployments. It is not my favorite stage.

Children of The Deployed

A toddler is old enough to remember the deployed parent, and be aware that they are gone. They may just think the parent is playing Hide-and-Seek for several months. Try not to project your own feelings onto your toddler. Often, you will be surprised that they carry on with life as usual, except for brief episodes where they really miss their parent. To keep their memories strong, you can show the toddler pictures and videos of Daddy. Be sure to take some videos on your phone before he leaves—just simple things like him playing with the toddler or giving kisses.

Toddlers will enjoy the United Through Reading program , which is a free service with sites all over the world that allows deployed service members to record a private video of them reading books or talking to their child. The recording is then sent to the family, where it can be played and enjoyed again and again. This age also benefits from comfort items like a Daddy Doll made from a picture of their dad, or a Comfort Quilt, which contains multiple photos of them and Dad together. The dolls are purchased with a variety of options, but the quilts are FREE to military families.

Both can be acquired just before or at the beginning of a deployment. It is a huge change in their lives, and can lead to all kinds of behavioral problems, from tantrums and yelling, to reverted behavior and changes in sleep patterns. You have to be very, very patient with a toddler during a deployment. Keep in mind that during a month deployment, a toddler will go through several different developmental stages.

So once you get one stage figured out, the next one will begin. This is exhausting and stressful, but hang in there! They will not be screaming or biting or throwing tantrums forever! Try not to give attention to the bad behavior, and use distraction to get them interested in something else.

Books to Help Children Cope When a Parent is Deployed

Routines and regular schedules are very important. It is normal for a toddler to revert back to younger behaviors. They may stop sleeping through the night or throw more tantrums than usual. It is also possible for a recently potty-trained toddler to start wetting themselves during the readjustment period.