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Thread: Helping 2 little ones cope?

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    #1

    Confused Helping 2 little ones cope?

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    I have a son who is almost 3 and a daughter who is just about 1.. My husband has orders to go overseas that start next month.. Any advice for me? How to help kids adjust, ways to keep busy, good support websites or groups, just anything to help me and the kids cope with Jeremy being gone for awhile? How can I explain to the kids why he is gone since they are still so little?
  2. Amy
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    #2
    Just tell them a simplified version of the truth. Tell them that Daddy has a very important job to do, and that you're all going to miss him, but he will be back.

    Has he ever left before? I know there's a free Elmo video for kids with deployed parents.
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    He got lucky his first six years and never got sent over.. Then he went into Inactive Reserves and the Navy called him up and asked him to join so he went back.. He had gotten orders the second month he was in and they cancelled those ones.. But got called a couple weeks ago and they told him he has new orders.. So he hasn't been over yet but I'm sure they probably won't cancel these ones.. We've already got his bags packed to go over so he doesn't have to worry about it at the last minute but it just makes it that much more real.. Makes me sad..
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    #4
    Good luck!
    Last edited by Katiehdm; 09-28-2009 at 11:23 PM.
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    First deployment I had a 1 year old daughter. This last deployment the daughter was 4 1/2 and our son was 1 when he left. When they're only like 1 year old, I found it a lot easier to do it. The kids don't have any idea of time or distance so we just did our normal play activities, hung out with family and just talked about Daddy a lot. I taped photographs of him on the wall at their eye level so like if they were in a saucer or playpen, I'd tape the photos near it so they could see them when they were playing. And I'd point out the photos and keep talking about who Daddy was. At that age they had no interest in trying to listen to him on the phone or anything but they did love seeing him on the webcam.

    The 4 year old was a lot harder. I got her a Daddy doll, gave her photos to keep next to her bed, photo albums to take to the babysitter so she could talk about him to her friends. He sent home little packages and gifts to her, we wrote him letters and sent him a LOT of art projects. Then he would take photos of her art projects hanging in his room and send them back so she could see her stuff in his room. The webcam was awesome for her at that age. Just try to stick to your regular routine as much as possible and keep reminding them that he'll be home. We did the candy jar too, like someone mentioned perviously, to count the time down. Did "Daddy candy" time every evening.
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    #6
    I tell DS that Daddy is at work and we'll get to be together again in a couple years. LOTS of Skype. While DH was in bootcamp we taped him reading books and singing songs so I could play them for DS. That worked well. With the time change I sometimes have to change bed times and nap times around so that DS is sure to see DH depending DH's schedule. I know a lot of people say the routine is more important but DS is AWFUL if he doesn't get to see DH at least once a day. Good luck!
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    Ths is one of my toughest things to deal with when it comes to deployment. We tell my little girl the truth but in a simple matter of fact way. That he works so far away he cant come home everynight and get back to work on time the next day but he loves us and we all miss eachother. I also add how proud we should be of him for doing such a important job in Iraq. This is how we are approaching it and so far so good. I am sure to add how proud we are and how much he loves us and we love him OFTEN because sometimes she gets a bit angry cause she wants to show him something or talk to him right this second and of course we cant make that happen in any lifestyle. She has expressed several times that she "hates the army " but after looking at pics or talking to him she is better.I have found Its hard sometimes especially if I am feeling especially lonely to be creative in comforting the little ones. My guy made a map to show where he is and where we are and it seems to help her visualize that he is still around just far away. I think sometimes she just did not get that he was actually SOMEWHERE and not just gone. I have seen a lot of great advice on this sight and am planning to use some of it in my house. Like that time line paper chain to when daddy comes home!
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    #8
    Thank you guys for the advice.. I will definitely have to do the candy jar for my son.. Letting him eat a piece every night his daddy is gone. I'm sure he would like that idea. We're working on getting him a laptop with a built-in webcam so we can talk thru that and the kids can see him.. And another thing I told him he needs to do is find both kids a stuffed animal that they can sleep with each night while he is gone.. Just something to help them think of him and know that he loves them. He wants to bring a few kids books with him and buy some that match it so he can read to them when he can and they can look at the same book he is reading.. I thought that was a good idea too. We're getting things a little more worked out but it is still not very easy on us.. He isn't too excited to leave us behind but he knows we love him and will be standing beside him thru it all. I will make sure they don't forget him and I will make sure he gets plenty of pictures so he doesn't feel like he is missing out on much!
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    #9
    My DH talked to his SK1.. He asked about his orders and found out he is going to Iraq.. (which somewhat confuses me.. aren't they pulling troops out of iraq? or maybe it is because they are slowly rotating people out..) Anyways.. We did get some good news out of it.. My husband will be home for about a week for christmas.. and our daughters first birthday happens to fall that week also.. Gives me something to look forward to at least! .. Also another thing I thought everyone should know is that there is a site that has resources available to you.. it is militaryonesource.com. We learned about it during the family readiness day my husbands unit has every year.. This was my first year in but I learned a few things from it.. Good thing I paid attention!

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