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Thread: Deployments with small children?

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    Kaymara's Avatar
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    #1

    Deployments with small children?

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    Ok so I have done many a deployment. But never with kids!

    Ethan will be 3. How do I help such a young child cope with daddy being gone all of a sudden? (it is sudden because this is a last minute thing for us. Not expected etc) Is there things you did that helped with it? Was it hard when they came home? Obviously Ashley will be too young to really understand anything at all. She'll be under 1 still. But Ethan is a smart boy. So am looking for ways to help him thru it. Help him pass the time etc. Any advice is appreciated!
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    Breanna was 3 during John's last deployment. What I did was actually took her to see the ship leave (I'm not sure if that is possible for you). I also would tell her daddy was coming home and not worry. When he was home we went on the ship several times and I think it also helped that John did several work-ups before the deployment itself so she was used to him leaving on the ship. If she saw a ship on tv she would point and say daddy was on that ship. There were times that she really wanted John but for the most part I was surprised at how well she took it. Oh, I also made sure to involve her with the packages I sent him and took lots of pics. I made sure to tell her the pics were for daddy. I also would always tell her that daddy wanted me to tell her he missed her and loved her. She would grin from ear to ear when I said that.

    It will probably be hard at first, especially since you guys haven't had much time for work-ups and such for E to get used to Rod being gone. But I know you'll do great.
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    No the ship isnt even here. He is on a precom and since his ship isnt ready yet, they needed him on another for a deployment. So no workups, no ship etc

    thanks for the ideas. I am going to keep him busy with soccer and such and getting him involved the packages is a great idea. Thanks again
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    Something I saw on tv looked like a good idea, the dad did a home video of him reading his daughters fav book. We also right before jason left went to the build a bear workshop and let the kids pick oout animals. We got the voice boxes and my husband recorded him saying how he loved them and missed them and would see them soon. Also just having your dh talk to your son and explaining in childs terms what he is doing. Good luck!

    and after he is gone, showing pics and doing webcam if you can will help.
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    I don't know if this is something that would work for you but we're planning to do jellybean or m&m jars every time he goes, as their way to count down. After every day we get through, the kids will get a jellybean or m&m out of their jar (thinking of making one for myself too but maybe with truffles or something ). That way they can see their progress and know that one more is gone, then they can see it getting closer and closer, and also have that treat to look forward to.

    That was just something we were going to do for our kiddos that I thought they'd enjoy.
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    I second the build a bear thing too. Have daddy go with and help do the bears, so it's something special between the two of them.
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    #7
    My daughter is four and our deployment was unexpected. She did pretty good. Keeping them busy was very important. Of course there is the usual... paper chain countdown, jelly bean countdown, a map with a "where in the world is daddy"...
    She loved getting the boxes ready, I let her decorate the boxes, inside and out... my hubby had some of the prettiest boxes.
    The United Through Reading program helped a great deal. If your hubby's ship offers it, tell him to sign up right away. My daughter loved getting the dvd and had daddy "read" her a story every night.
    I have found that getting involved with the community, the FRG has helped. My kids find some comfort in seeing other kids who are going through the same thing.
    Good luck. I am so glad to be almost done!
    I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.
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    Military Onesource puts out a DVD for kids whose parents are being deployed. It's a good one.
    https://www.militaryonesource.com/sk...7-0f3074a3241c

    http://www.sesameworkshop.org/tlc You can view it or d/l it here too
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    #9
    Order the Talk Listen Connect DVD from onesource. It really helped DD.. She was 2 when DH started workups, the deployment and finally the 2 month TAD school at GL.

    Camryn also talked to daddy as much as possible, we blow kisses to him and say love you/goodnight to him every night he's away.
    During the workup, they weren't gone long enough to receive mail, so I'd scan and email her drawings to him... they both loved that. She'd draw a picture and ask me to put it on the "puter" to send to daddy.
    When he was deployed, she sent a "letter" with every care package. She'd draw a picture and decorate it with stickers.

    DH also went to build a bear before he left and made her a daddy bear. He recorded a special message. She slept with daddy bear everynight and still does sometimes.

    I remind her daily when he's gone that daddy's our hero out helping the world be a better place and keeping us safe from the bad guys.

    I made homecoming a HUGE deal for her.. we have special shirts, and she got to help make the sign..

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    #10
    I've pretty much been doing everything thats already been listed. We talked a lot about daddy leaving and why he was leaving. My kids know about the war and why their father is over there. We took him to the ship the day he left and we watched the ship sail off. We email every day and we've had 3 VTC's and a handful of phone calls. I have them draw pictures for him. When they do something cute or fun or special I remind them how much daddy would love to them doing it. We take special pictures of things we do. The kids set up their toys or make something and I'll take a picture just to send to him. We didn't do any type of count down for the kids because deployments change and I think it would very disappointing to add back time plus we knew he'd be coming home before the ship we just didn't know exactly when.

    United through reading is awesome if your husband can actually get on the list to do it. John has been trying to make a DVD since they left in April. The list is always full. Its really a bummer. I would have recorded him reading to the kids had we known it would always be so busy on the ship.

    We also have a few things they really really want to do but I am making them wait for daddy to come home.

    When is Rod leaving?
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