Helping Your Young Child Cope with a Parent’s Deployment is a lively and practical guide for military parents (and grandparents and other caregivers). Saying goodbye for about a billion days is a high-stress experience for children. Parents worry: What do my kids need in order to thrive? How can I help them cope? What kinds of activities foster a meaningful connection across the miles?
Jerilyn Marler—who has been a military child, military wife, and military mom—answers those questions and more with cheerful wisdom. She includes 22 fun ways to help kids before and during deployment. Military parents who want the best for their children should keep this book handy.
All resources mentioned in the book (and some others that you should know about!) are listed together at the end for easy reference. The same list is available on this Resources for Military Families page. Military parents with young children will want to keep this book handy and bookmark the Resources page!
Table of Contents
- Nobody Likes Goodbyes
- Preparing for the Goodbye
- During Deployment
- Putting It All Together
- About the Author
- About Lily Hates Goodbyes
Sample: First Page
Nobody Likes Goodbyes
Raise your hand if you like saying goodbye. Anybody? No? I didn’t think so. Deployment is dreadfully hard for adults. It’s even worse for children. I hope this book will provide guidance, encouragement, and ideas to help you help your young child to not just survive the separation but thrive despite the separation. When it’s easier for your child, it’s easier for you, too.
In the next two chapters we’ll talk about specific tools and activities that can help your child. But first, let’s look at the bigger picture of what most children go through and what they need when a parent is away for about a billion days.
Goodbye = Stress
Saying goodbye is stressful. Missing a loved one is stressful. Not knowing when the parent will be home is stressful. Knowing that a parent has a dangerous job is stressful.
You see where I’m going with this. Children are stressed when a parent is on deployment.
As adults we can tell when we’re stressed. If we’re taking care of ourselves, we act wisely to do something about it: call a friend, do a vigorous workout, walk around the block, let the tears flow. We eat healthy food, get regular exercise and enough sleep. (You’re doing all that, right? You’ve got to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your child.) Recognizing we’re stressed takes a level of self-awareness that younger children simply don’t have. It’s up to us, the parents, to help them.
As of April 2011, the military community included 1.8 million American children under the age of 18. That’s a lot of potential stress. And grief.
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Jerilyn Marler, a writer for over 30 years, is also an editor, publisher, and speaker who focuses on helping military children and parents cope with deployment separations. In late 2011 she launched her own publishing company Quincy Companion Books™, an imprint of Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing.