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Dealing with Deployment with children
Transcript of Dealing with Deployment with children
What to do with kids
Tips to help you deal with Deployment
Get connected, meet with friends, volunteer, remain involved, refuse to become isolated.
Don’t leave any big surprises for your partner’s return home. Try to keep your partner informed as to what is going on.
Become familiar with your Family Network and MFRC activities
Send care packages to your loved one
When emailing to your loved one Including a date/time in the body of an email this will help the deployed member know when you sent the message.
Find a hobby or weekly activity for yourself
If sending letter be sure to mark the order they are being sent.
Have a countdown jar/calendar
Stage 1: Anticipation of Loss
(1-6 weeks prior to departure)
Stage 2: Detachment and Withdrawal
(1 week prior to departure)
This occurs in the final days before departure. They want to create happy memories, but may feel a sense of fatigue and sadness. Often the most difficult stage, the loved one at home feels, “If you have to go, go,” and the deploying CAF member thinks, “Let’s get on with it!”
Stage 3: Emotional Disorganization
(first 6 weeks after departure)
Actual deployment, no matter how prepared families are, still comes as a shock. For the loved one at home, an initial sense of relief from the tension of preparing for deployment is followed by a feeling of being overwhelmed. The CAF member may feel lonely and frustrated at being far away from day to day living. This can be a time to gather strength for the changes to come.
Stage 4: Recovery and Stabilization
(occurs between Stage 3 & 5)
At some point, the partner at home may realize, “Hey I’m doing OK.” Each successful experience builds feelings of confidence. New sources of support are cultivated through friends, work, and community. New freedoms, as well as responsibilities, come from being alone. The CAF member is also settling into routines on the deployment, and patterns of communication with home.
Stage 5: Anticipation of Homecoming
(up to 6 weeks before homecoming)
This time can be an emotional roller coaster for everyone: feelings of joy alternating with apprehension. There is a need to make room for the returning loved one. “I want him/her back, but what am I going to have to give up?” The CAF member may have feelings such as, “How have we changed? Does my family still need me?”
There may be tension between the CAF member and the loved one as they come to terms with the impending deployment. The CAF member is busy preparing to deploy and may be excited about the mission but worried about leaving. The loved one may feel restless and irritable while dealing with all the practical matters at home. Both may find that they are starting to disengage. As with all phases of deployment, caring communication is key
Stage 6: Renegotiation of Relationships
Feeling like a family again may take time as everyone adjusts to changing roles and responsibilities. Both the CAF member and the loved one have had varied experiences and have grown in different ways. A new way of being together can emerge as they move forward.
Stage 7: Reintegration and Stabilization
Within a few weeks, feelings of “our” and “we” return. New routines have been established. The CAF member and the loved one feel relaxed and comfortable as they regain a sense of being a family. The experiences during deployment can provide a foundation for developing resilience within the military lifestyle
Routines are important to help maintain a sense of normalcy
KEEP THEM BUSY
CHILDREN'S DEPLOYMENT WORKSHOPS
Children’s Deployment Workshops help children adjust to a parent being away on deployment. Workshops offer an opportunity for children to interact with other children who are going through the same experience. These workshops will help validate your child’s feelings about deployment. There are programs for Preschool (age 3-5yrs), School Age (age 5-8yrs) and Preteen (age 9-12yrs). If you are interested in registering your child up for one of the following workshops, call 250-363-2640 or email Tracy Beck directly at email@example.com. Space is limited, please register your child in advance.
Deployment Children's Workbooks
If you are not able to make it to one of our workshops, the books are available to work through on your own with your child/children
3-5 year olds
6-8 year olds
9-12 year olds
check out http://www.esquimaltmfrc.com/deployment/resources-services.php
Know the emotional stages of deployment