Deployments and The Effect on Children
After four deployments, our family knows what it is like to go long periods of time without Dad in the home. It can be so challenging for the parent at home to have to be mom and dad. It can also be really hard on the children who might not truly understand why their mom or dad has to be away from them.
Since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001, more than 2 million American children have had a deployed parent. Many of them have seen multiple deployments. This tells me that we are not alone and that all these children have gone through or are going through what my own boys have.
Our last deployment ended in 2013 and my boys were 9, 7 and 3. At those ages they only kind of understand what Dad was doing. It was a hard time for all of us as I helped them work through the time apart while trying to deal with the deployment myself. It can be difficult to know what will help them and what they are really dealing with.
The best thing to do is to keep the line of communication open with your children. Let them know it is okay to share with you how they are feeling or what they are experiencing. Encourge them to reach out to you if it becomes too hard. Sometimes young kids will act out when they are feeling frustrated about the deployment. It is important to keep firm boundaries in your home but be aware that some behavior could be because of missing one of their parents.
One idea is to have a recordable device that the deployed parent can set up to give to the child. Recordable teddy bears, along with other battery-powered devices such as recordable story books provide reliable comfort no matter when or where their parent is deployed.
Duracell has a great video out all about how a Teddy Bear can help a child through a deployment. This video made me cry because it shows us how hard it can be for a child to be without their dad. It is nice that we live in a time where technology can help that divide and allow the child to hear their parent’s voice whenever they want. The film was inspired by a real Military child who was showed Duracell a Teddy Bear she had during her father’s deployment.
Duracell would like to raise $100,000 for USO’s Comfort Crew for Military Kids. Share the film and find out how you donate to the cause through the USO at http://www.uso.org/donate.
This review was made possible by iConnect and Duracell. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions are 100% mine.