Janice - posted on 05/14/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )
Janice - posted on 05/14/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )
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Joanna - posted on 05/22/2009
Iam a M.O.M.(My other mom) who is in the military as well as my boyfriend and am raising his son while hes deployed. His 7yr old already had some issues after losing his mom to a motorcycle accident while daddy was in Iraq. Me being in the military and raising him has been a big help but, he too went through his phases. His dad was going through training before deployment and was home every month and half now he is deployed and is gone until december. His 7yr old likes to lie and sneak things because he is trying to draw attention. So instead of punishing all the time I talk to him like an big kid and tell him what he did wrong and ask him. He normally tells me the truth and all I do most of the time is love on him, because he is going through a rough time like all of us, but he is a kid and expresses his anger and sadness through doing the wrong thing or acting up instead of using words. I would recommend having Dad call or email them regularly it does help alot for us and keeping a journal of things going on and how they feel this helps them start using their words to express instead of wild emotions. Hope this helps. :)
Donna - posted on 05/22/2009
great question, my husband is in the navy and has been for almost 30 years, we have 4 children, yes sometimes it is hard when daddy leaves, but reassure them he is coming back and what an important job he is doing and how proud they shoud be that he choice to support his country this way.. this is a great choice and something they should be proud of, be strong for them, he needs to know that you are handling things at home while he is gone so he can do his job effeciently.. you can write letters, draw pictures talk about him.. etc ..he has an important job and just keep letting them know this.. if you are proud of him and supportive they will be too..get involved with the wifes group and the activities they do keep your kids active and you too.. dont dwell on the negative, focus on the positive and all will be ok.. I will be happy to talk to you anytime.. feel free to contact me at any time..
Sharon - posted on 05/21/2009
Depending on their ages, keep them busy and keep a routine. I always made a paper chain for the days that my husband deployed. The kids tore one piece off a day until he got home. Especially with small kids it showed them that there was an end to the deployment. Also socialize them with other military kids. They really lean on each other and it helps them know that they are not the only one going through the deployment. And last, if you stress, they stress. Find support for yourself and it will help them.
Stephanie - posted on 05/21/2009
There is what I call the preparation, seperation, adjustment, and the reconnection phase of deployments. Preparation: I always tell my children before hand whats going on. I take them to the send off. I tell them that he is going to work on the ship now. It usually goes well. Seperation: After a few days my oldest realizes that Daddy is not coming back soon. And that is when we have problems. She challenges my authority and generally seems unhappy. I just try to treat her the same as always and let her know that even if she is angry or hurt that Daddy left, she still has to follow the rules. I try and comfort her the best I can with hugs and praise. Adjustment: We get into a rythem and routine, and each day gets a little easier. I try to estblish something for her to look forward to, Daddy coming home! We talk about him, and look at his pictures, she notices things that belong to him, and we makes plans for the future. Reconnection: The day he gets home is usually the best day. However at the same time it is a difficult day. Kids change rapidly, and Daddy's usually don't. All the work you have done to keep them in line and happy, may fall apart because Daddy has missed out on it all. Hey may not be aware of all the changes they have made, and do something that they have grown out of. He may correct them differently than you, and it can be confusing. Be prepared for that, it can be very upsetting for everyone.
Janice - posted on 05/20/2009
Thanks to all of you for all your great ideas!! It means alot knowing that there are other people out there who care so much!!
Ruth - posted on 05/19/2009
My hubby is about to deploy and some of these suggestions will help me too...Thank you. I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. My older one is very smart and always asks where Daddy is if he doesn't see him...I think this next year will be hard to explain to him. My younger loves his daddy, but I think for him it might be harder when my hubby gets back. We will see...
Heather - posted on 05/19/2009
My husband AND brother are in the military and we were all stationed together before the guys deployed to Iraq the last time. We have two kids who were 8 and 3 weeks old at the time (my brother didn't have any kids). We took a TON of videos of us all together having fun, laughing and doing regular things. We also ordered a 'Flat Daddy' of both my husband and brother (a life size picture of them that we mounted on cardboard).
I placed all pictures on the kids walls at THEIR height--not up high where they couldn't reach them. Unfortunately, my brother was killed during this tour (my husband was with him, but made it home ok) however the kids will ALWAYS have the pictures and videos of their Uncle Marcus loving on them and playing with them. They will also always know what a hero Uncle Marcus and Daddy both are (as well as ALL military personnel).
All of the suggestions have been amazing--take what you like from each post and come up with a plan that works for your kids. All I know is that when my husband came home and our son was 15 months old--he ran up to him and said "DADDYYYYY!!!!" I couldn't have asked for a better response from him. Good luck with your deployment~my prayers are with you and your family.
Kelly - posted on 05/18/2009
My daughter is 3 and my husband got transfered back to a boat (he was on land duty for 3 years). We just made sure before any long deployments that we went somewhere fun...somewhere that would make memories of daddy being there (beach, zoo, ChuckECheese). And take lots of pictures of daddy and child, and just daddy. We keep a photo album for for my daughter that we update every time daddy "goes on the boat" he is Coast Guard :) Just make sure that you talk about him while he is gone. I also take pictures with my cell phone and tell her that I am sending the picture to daddy so he can see her :) Good Luck!!
Leigh - posted on 05/18/2009
I suppose it all depends on the ages of the children and how long they've been dealing with deployments. My hubby has 22 yrs with only 2 to go, and we'vebeen through countless deployments starting when my daughter was young, 2yrs or so and all the advice listed in these other posts are GREAT ideas! My son was about 3, same applied. But now they are 12 and 7, and have been thru so many there really aren't any issues anymore. He'll call and they get to talk on the phone. But pretty much ok with things now!!! good luck
Gena - posted on 05/17/2009
My son was only 5mos when my husband left on his last deployment, so he really didn't get the whole thing. However, we did videotape Daddy reading some bedtime stories as well as he taped a message asking him how his day was and asking what he did today. We watched that video every night before bed! The ideas with pictures are great as well. If he is in the Navy, friends of mine have hung a map up with a picture of the ship and they move it around so the always know where daddy is. Another idea is a daddy doll. You can look it up online, they make a little doll out of a uniform and they put daddy's face on it...so they can sleep with him. Good luck!
Alyson - posted on 05/17/2009
my husband is gone on his second deployment and my son is having a really hard time with it...he goes from being this perfect little boy to basically acting like a lil devil its horrible...right now im at my witts in and to make matters worse my hubby came home on r&r and left again may2 and things have gotten worse then they were before i just dont know what to do anymore.
Sarah - posted on 05/14/2009
Video tapes of Daddy reading bedtime stories worked for our kids, as did having their own pictures in their rooms. They each had a special stuffed animal that their dad filled with unlimited "daddy hugs" before he left so they could squeeze them as needed. We also invented a special "daddy kiss" that I could give them (growling and nuzzling their necks) before bed. Otherwise, making pictures to mail, having postcards come from him, and using skype a lot helped. Depends on the age of your kids, though, what works best for them. Ours were elementary school/preschool at the time of the last deployment.
Alexis - posted on 05/14/2009
my husband just enlisted a year ago so i'm new at the military lifestyle, but when my husband left for training it was really hard for my daughter. she was a big daddies girl. her and my husband were inseperable. she had a hard time sleeping at night so i would give her a picture of daddy to sleep with and if that didnt work i would let her sleep on daddies side of our bed. when she asked to talk to daddy or wanted to know were he was i would read one of the letters he sent us. she's 3 1/2 and it seemed to work. i hope this helps. like i said i'm new to this so this what i've done so far.