Helping your kids cope with your upcoming deployment is one of the biggest—and most important—challenges you and your coparent will face. One way to take your mind off the more challenging and depressing aspects of deployment is to hang out and have some fun with your kids before you leave. In stressful situations, children, especially young children, look to their parents for cues on how to behave. So, if you and/or your coparent seem depressed, angry, or withdrawn, it’s quite likely your children will start behaving the same way.
Let’s look at how children of various ages react to the prospect of a parent’s deployment—and identify specific strategies you can use now to help your kids cope better.
This is the second in a series of six National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse spotlights on tips for dads on deployment. The series is authored by Armin Brott, a former Marine, fatherhood author (Ask Mr. Dad), and host of the radio show Positive Parenting for Military Families. The series was developed with assistance from Nigel Vann (Fathers Incorporated).
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