Deployment (and redeployment, too) can be a difficult time for families, especially the children. Here are some resources to help you and your kids prepare, adjust and cope.
- The Department of Defense Healthy Parenting Initiative has many resources relating to deployment including Q&A sheets, fact sheets, activities and checklists.
- Parents Called to Active Duty: Helping Children Cope—from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
- General advice for families from the APA—Resilience in a Time of War
- Find out how to prepare your kids for a military parent’s return from active duty. Redeployment can be very difficult:
- We tend to idealize homecoming, so difficulty is extra hard to deal with.
- It can be hard for the military parent to adjust to everyday life and/or a civilian job, especially after living on high alert in combat.
- The military parent may be suffering from psychological stress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTS or PTSD), and/or even a traumatic brain injury (TBI), all of which present huge challenges for the individual and family, including:
- Sleep disturbances
- Apparent changes in "personality"
- After a long absence, it can be hard to reintegrate the military parent into family life. Roles must be relearned. Family dynamics change during the military parent's absence.
- For more from the American Psychological Association (APA): Homecoming can be stressful (includes a list of warning signs on page 6).
- My Book About The War And Terrorism: A Guided Activity Workbook for Children, Families and Teachers to promote healthy expression, learning and coping—this 104 page kids’ book from the Children’s Psychological Health Center is available for $19.00 from Amazon.com. The book includes a guide for how to use it in developmentally appropriate ways, straightforward explanations of history and current events related to the war in Iraq, and lots of space for kids to color, draw, and write down their ideas and feelings about the war, terrorism, and conflict.
- YourChild: Talking to kids about war and terrorism.
Compiled by Kyla Boyse, RN. Reviewed by faculty and staff at the University of Michigan
Updated November 2012