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Married to the Military? 9 Ways to Make Deployment Easier for You & Your Family

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Deployment is always hard on families, and especially children.  Here are some ways to include your children in the process and keep your house from being turned upside down.

By Aliya Allen

 

Let’s face it ladies, being a Military Spouse means that you are a single parent most of the time.  And you have to deal with the after affects of your spouse’s departure on your own. Granted moving and separation are a major part of military life, but that doesn’t make it any easier on your children, and adds an added strain to quasi single parenthood.

To make this transition easier means stabilizing you and your children’s lives into routines that normalize your lives.  Day in day out activities like chores, family time, homework, extracurricular activities give your child a sense of stability and should not change when your spouse is deployed.  Here are a few great tips you and your partner can use to include your child in the deployment discussion.

Including your children in the process helps them feel better about where they are going. Check out these great tips from chapter 8 of The Mocha Manual to Military Life, “Parenting: Raising Children in the Military Lifestyle.”

Before Deployment:

 

  1. Be open and honest with your kids about your spouse’s deployment by giving them age appropriate explanations about what is about to happen and how they might feel.
  2. Tell them as much as possible about the new job and location.  Have them take part in learning about the area your partner is moving to.
  3. It is still important for the child to have stability to cope.  Outline clear expectations and rules.  Make sure they understand that you still expect the same behavior even if their other parent will be absent.
  4. Limit the number of weekly activities.
  5. Make household chores a family affair.
  6. Notify teachers or coaches of the impending departure and notify you of any dramatic changes in mood or demeanor.
  7. Limit the exposure to violent movies and supervise watching the news so you can answer any questions.
  8. Create family traditions.  Like the parent that is leaving and your children exchanging gifts that they can hold onto when they are thinking about one another.
  9. Have them write letters and stay in communication with their deployed parent.

 

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