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Facing Deployment Difficulties

Saturday May 16th 2015 - 14:33 AM EST
Added by: Fairfield Psychological Associates, P.C

Having just survived yet another holiday season, it would seem stress has subsided for at least awhile. However, for many families, stress is beginning again or continuing. That is the stress of military deployments. There is special attention paid to deployed and separated families during the holidays, as there should be, via the media, military commands, extended family, schools and family programs. The irony is this type of stress does not only occur during the holidays, this is a 365 days a year stress that affects millions. 

Regardless of the time of year for a deployment, there are some tools and skills we can use to manage successfully through the deployment. 

#1 Mom or Dad (whoever is not deployed) needs to identify some good quality time to themselves. This might mean getting a babysitter or “trading” babysitting services with a neighbor. Go for a walk, go the gym, walk through the mall, stroll the bookstore or have lunch with a friend, whatever is relaxing.

#2 Men and women without children with a deployed spouse can look into joining a reading group, participate in an adult sports team, connect with the command Ombudsman for any upcoming events, visit family or have family come visit, try some new recipes, develop or redevelop hobbies-new or forgotten.

#3 For parents, it’s important to keep in mind children can continue to thrive and maintain emotional health during a deployment if they have open, supportive parents willing to be creative and in-tune to their children. Some children will be more sensitive and emotional while some may act-out at home or in school.  Having open communication with your children is critical to helping them face deployment challenges.

#4 Parents should consider that while they want to get themselves involved in activities, they want to do the same for their children. Most elementary schools and some middle schools have Deployment Groups, which are in place to allow children to air concerns and frustrations about having a parent deployed. Enrolling kids in sports, clubs, performance and creative art programs helps develop necessary life skills and social skills as well as provides a healthy distraction during a deployment.


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