Preparing Your Child for Deployment

Posted on November 10, 2013, in Separation and Loss

Written by: Military Family October 27, 2011

Children of military members make sacrifices every day. They have less quality time with their parents because of lengthy deployments and longer working hours. During your deployment it is important that your spouse and children are aware of the support programs and services available in the military community. You should also prepare your children by talking about the upcoming deployment. It will be a difficult time for your child but deployments can help them develop a sense of maturity.

Talking to Children about Deployment

Talking to your children about the deployment will help them understand why you will be gone and how they will be cared for in your absence. A change in their lifestyle as significant as a deployment can sadden, confuse, depress, or anger any child. Throughout your talk with your children, encourage them to ask questions. When talking to your child about deployment, consider these tips:

  • Be truthful and available
  • Share feelings often
  • Give them household responsibilities for when you are away
  • Show them your destination on a map or globe
  • Give them your address and ask for letters
  • Communicate with teachers, let them know your situation
  • Give each child a picture of you
  • Let them help you pack

Coping During Deployment

While preparing for deployment, it is wise to talk to your spouse to make sure that he/she is prepared to manage the children while you are away. Consider the following tips that may help them cope during the deployment:

  • Maintain a routine
  • Continue family traditions
  • Talk with your children often
  • Discipline consistently
  • Encourage kids to write
  • Let them know their contributions are valuable
  • Talk about you
  • Be aware of support programs

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