7 Ways You Can Make Deployment Easier for Little Ones ...

Jordin

Ways to make deployment easier for little ones will come in handy if you are currently facing a separation or preparing for an upcoming deployment. Deployments are tough for anyone, no matter your age or experience level. However, deployments can be pretty emotional for little ones, especially when they don’t really understand what is going on. Here are my tips and tricks to make deployment easier for children of all ages!

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1

Explain What is Going on

One way to make deployment easier for little ones is to remember that they have feelings and emotions just like adults do! Kids may be scared, anxious, worried, or sad, but not know how to express it or why they feel that way. Explain what is happening, and be there to talk or comfort as needed.

2

Keep Your Normal Routine

With a parent gone temporarily, things are already going to be out of whack, so to speak. Keep your routine as regular and consistent as possible. That security can help little ones cope and readjust to this big change and in turn, help you keep your sanity as you face loneliness yourself.

3

Skype or Facetime when Possible

Modern technology is such a wonderful thing in many areas. Being able to see and talk to a loved one who is on the other side of the world is such a miracle! Use Skype, Facetime, and other means of communication whenever possible. Your kids will be delighted to have that way to “see” their parent, and foster their bond even from millions of miles away.

4

Start a Countdown

Create a countdown to help the days go by! A popular idea is a jar of candy. Each day, your child can eat one piece and when the candy is gone, that means the time is up! You can add or take away pieces in private to adjust to the exact date once you have it, since we all know the military is notorious for changing schedules around.

5

Say Positive Things

Remember that your kids’ attitude will be a reflection of yours! If you stay positive and upbeat, chances are they will too. Talk about your deployed spouse in a positive way and say things like, “Daddy will be so proud of you when he gets home!” or “Your Mommy really misses you!” And you can also encourage your little one with phrases like, “You are doing a good job learning how to ride your bike while Daddy/Mommy is away!”

6

Record Everything on Video

Deployed members miss so much, so it helps to record everything! School plays, first steps, birthday parties, and other moments can be shared together when your family is reunited. This is also a way to help your child feel special, as if their parent didn’t really “miss” something.

7

Give Your Child Something to Keep

Having a tangible item to hold on to might help your little ones to feel closer to their deployed parent. An article of clothing, a blanket, a watch, a piece of jewelry, or some other trinket are all good examples of keepsakes to give your kid to “hold on to” till mommy or daddy returns home.

As military spouse, I have already been through numerous deployments and TDYs, so I can understand what range of emotions both parties feel on a military related separation. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. Stay positive, and remember to talk through emotions with your children! What tips would you offer for making deployment easier for little ones? Thanks for reading!

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