Support and Resources
Month of the Military Child
As we celebrate the Month of the Military Child this April, let us not forget all the sacrifices that military youth make. Christmas, birthdays, a graduation- these are all things that many of us take for granted. Military youth do not. While many children graduate with some of the same friends they went to elementary school with, most military youth do not. While many children sit down to dinner with family each night, most military youth do not. Military children do have the personal knowledge and life experience of selflessness, which is a big part of what it takes to maintain freedom for all families.
This flyer includes supportive resources, tips, and shared stories of military youth. The "Family Talk" video will begin to explore some of the questions and concerns of military youth.
Coping With Your Parent’s Deployment
If you are a military child, deployment happens. You may not realize it now, but going through a deployment may make you stronger than you imagined. You'll figure out how to get through this tough time, and there is a lot you can do to help yourself cope. You can do things before, during, and after deployment to help the time pass. Before you know it, your parent will be back home and hanging out with you. Here are some tips to make the deployment fly by:
- Write down your questions. There is a lot to think about when your mom or dad deploys, so make a list of questions to ask. You can also start a journal where you write down your thoughts and feelings.
- Plan a special goodbye. Figure out the best way you and your parent can say goodbye to each other. Maybe you'd like to go to the movies, play a favorite game, or just spend an evening together at home.
- Set a goal. Plan to tackle a new skill, and master it, by the time your parent has returned from deployment.
- Checkout "Military Youth Coping With Separation: When Family Members Deploy."
- Stay in touch with your parent. Even though you can't call your deployed parent whenever you want to, you can email and even send snail mail updates about what is going on in your world.
- Talk to your friends. If your family moved because of a deployment, keep in touch with your friends from your old school. Talking with friends who are also military kids can be especially helpful, because they get what you're going through and they'll know how to support you.
- Figure out how you can help at home. No one expects you to be a superhero, but you can make life easier for everyone by helping with the household routine. Take care of your usual chores and responsibilities, and jump in to help when you see something else that needs to be done.
- Stay flexible. The return of your deployed parent may be delayed at the last minute, or your family's plans for an exciting reunion may be put on hold. It's all part of military life, so try to go with the flow. Checkout "Military Youth Coping with Separation: When Family Members Deploy" http://militarykidsconnect.dcoe.mil/kids/deployment
- Meet other youth who live in your area. Check out your installation's youth programs.
- Give your parent some space. Try to keep things low-key for the first few days after your parent gets home. He or she may need some rest or may have to go back to work right away. Make sure you give him or her time to relax and get back into the swing of things.
- Be patient. It may seem strange, but adding a parent back into the family routine may mean making some adjustments. You can make the changes easier on yourself by having a good attitude and keeping an open line of communication with your parents.
- No matter how difficult or unfair it may seem at times, supporting your family by doing the best you can is a way military kids can serve, too. Provided by MilitaryOneSource
Click on the videos below to learn more about how others have made the most of deployment time.
You Are Not Alone
The Department of Defense offers free confidential, short-term, non-medical counseling to eligible service members and their families. The counseling is offered for help with marital problems, parenting, stress management, grief and loss, and other issues. It's available in several formats, including face-to-face with trained counselors who hold master's or doctorate's degrees in a mental health field, and who are independently licensed.
All information from this flyer was provided by Military OneSource and Military Kids Connect. You can find contact information listed below.