Military families go through a lot when one of the parents is deployed overseas. This can create a major strain on the spouse that is left behind to handle raising the children. Not only does the spouse need to do everything for the kids alone, but also has to deal with the worries that their spouse could be in harm’s way. There is parenting help available for our military families.
Saying goodbye to a loved one is never an easy thing to do. It’s even harder to say goodbye to a mother or father who will be away for many, many months. This can cause stress for the children, and they may act up at home and at school. Parenting help advisors believe that this is a relatively normal reaction to feeling abandoned.
You can help your children handle these feelings. Oftentimes, just letting the children express their feelings can work wonders. Kids often feel that the child-parent relationship gets put on hold when his or her parent leaves for active duty. This is a valid point. You’ll need to explain that Mommy or Daddy loves them more than anything, and that is why Mom or Dad is in the military to ensure that they will always be safe and sound.
Most military spouses use email or Skype to stay in contact with their mates. Parenting help advisors suggest that the children be able to have some alone time with their parent on Skype too. The child-parent relationship is already strained, and this is a great way to strengthen the bond between parent and child. Many young parents use Skype to show their spouse a new baby once it has been born. Although a video isn’t the same thing as being there, parenting help experts believe that is the next best way for kids to maintain the child-parent relationship with the Mom or Dad in the military.
Many military spouses have foregone the use of snail mail for communications with their loved ones. Sure, email is quicker, easier and cheaper but it really doesn’t give the person overseas something to touch and feel. One of the finest parenting help suggestions is to have the children draw pictures for their parent. Every parent oohs and ahs over pictures that their kids draw. The parent away serving our country shouldn’t have to miss out on that. Making something special for their Mom or Dad can enhance a child-parent relationship.
Every member of the military loves receiving care packages from home. Military parenting help experts suggest allowing your kids to help decide what should go into the care packages. Let them think about their personal child-parent relationship, and come up with something special that would be meaningful for their Mom or Dad to receive.
It could be something as simple as a package of a snack that they liked to share or as thought provoking as a photo of the fishing spot that they frequent. Let the child decide what would remind their Mom or Dad how special their child-parent relationship is to them.
Plan for Their Homecoming
Planning for the parent’s homecoming should include the children’s ideas, according to parenting help experts. This will get the kids excited about reestablishing the physical side of the child-parent relationship. Young parents with small kids might want to create artwork for the party with painted prints of their children’s hands. Older kids can help make signs and decorate with balloons and crepe paper. The options are endless. The only thing that will matter to your children is that they have their Mom or Dad back home with them. That’s the best homecoming gift of all.