A large number of military families live in the state of Delaware. One of the most frequent concerns of these families involves finding ways to help their children deal with the stress and uncertainty of deployment. Although explaining the process to children may present a challenge, these tips may help your entire family and allow your children a healthy way to process the emotions they feel about deployment.
Tell the truth
When discussing deployment, adults may think keeping the truth from their children will protect the youngest family members. But the healthiest military families tell their children the truth about why their parent needs to leave.
When one or both of their parents need to go away, children will naturally desire to know more about where that parent plans to go. Consider these tips for discussing your location:
- Show the child the location on a map.
- Talk about what your daily routine may be.
- Discuss the weather and culture.
Communicate with co-parents
Anyone who has dealt with family law understands how difficult divorced families find it to communicate with one another. Deployment may increase feelings of resentment, but divorced families facing the deployment of a co-parent should try to focus on positive communication. Your typical custody arrangement may not work, and you may need to have the arrangement mended to take the following considerations in mind:
- Video chats
- Time zone differences
- Work schedules
- Child’s sleep schedule
Military life reliably requires deployment. Since children often do best with consistency, you should continue to keep up with their routines. This includes keeping bedtimes and school schedules the same.
No matter what you do, your children may struggle with missing their parent during deployment. Your most important task should involve continually offering your child support so they can feel more capable of facing the deployment.