About Erin Henderschedt & her Blog
Erin is a winner of Top 25 Military Moms - 2012
What do you love about being a military mom?
I never imagined that I'd be a military wife and mom to military kids but I can't imagine my life any different. I love that we've been able to show our kids places and people of the world they'd otherwise never been able to see. I love that we have 4 kids who are one another's best friends and have each other where ever we go.
What advice would you give to moms on how to build a new support circle after a move?
Use your kids. Get involved in the schools and meet as many women as you can, then decide who you think you connect with best. If you have a young child, arrange for playdates and invite the moms to stay for a cup of coffee so you can get to know them. It will take time, but eventually you will connect and build a circle of friends.
What's a tip for helping kids cope with a parent's absence?
Include the missing parent in your family's daily life. Mention how he'd react to things, place pictures through out the house. Also, try to skype or email as often as possible and get your spouse to send emails directly to your kids. I got my boys daddy dolls to sleep with and cuddle when they missed daddy and also a flat daddy to take to special events.
What are your favorite Blog Posts?
What can you do to comfort a child who is missing a parent who is away?
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Helping your kids stay connected with a deployed/traveling parent is very important, but it is equally critical to not dwell on the issue.
If your son or daughter is missing Daddy or Mommy, validate his or her worries and help him to connect by looking at a picture, sending an email or sharing stories.
One great way we stay connected is with our Daddy Dolls (https://www.daddydolls.com/store/hugahero-dolls). I ordered one for each of my sons right after my husband deployed, last December. They sit at the foot of the beds of my 11 and 13 year olds, but my 4 and 7 year olds hug their daddy every night while they sleep. It's a small way that the boys stay connected.
We also have a life size flat daddy that we take with us when one of the boys has a special event that Daddy would have attended, had he been home. We take pictures and send them to Daddy by email. Also, it always prompts positive, supportive comments from onlookers who thank the boys for their Dad's service and their sacrifice, which is really nice.
Finally, we fill a large bowl with Hershey's Kisses. Each evening, the boys each get a "kiss" from Daddy. As his return nears, I make sure the number of kisses is right so that the last ones are taken the day before he comes home. It's a visible reminder for the kids that homecoming is approaching.
It's not easy to have a parent away from home for long stretches, but if the at home parent works at it, the absence can be managed with grace.
What is your best tip for not losing your temper with children?
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I realized long ago that losing my cool got me no where with my kids, so I stopped doing it. Of course, every once in a while, I start to lose it but when I remember it doesn't help at all and only makes my kids feel terrible, I stop.
It's better to stay calm and try to get the kids to do as they are supposed to or, if necessary, give the consequences.
Keeping a calm voice makes it easier to get the kids to follow my lead. They are great kids and don't lose their temper very often either... Except for my 4 year old, but we'll get there.