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Thread: Tips for parents going through their 1st deployment.

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    #11
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    I hope it's not wrong for a newbie to post here, but I have a suggestion I'd like to add.

    DH and I found out a few months before Christmas that (a very popular and well known online retail site that I'm not certain I'm allowed to link. lol) wasn't a blocked site. So, to help keep DH in the loop and give the kids some added surprise, DH was put in charge of getting the kids' Christmas pajams. He also got each of the girls a different stuffed animal. I took pics of the kids opening their gifts and sent them to him.

    Also, we've done videos to Daddy that we posted (with access restricted to Daddy only) to fb.

    Oh, Our girls are 8 years old and 5 (in a few days).
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    #12
    Also a newbie here. We've come up with some ideas from stuff we've seen or from DH who has been really into this for his first deployment:

    Making a family pic into a puzzle and mailing a few pieces home each month
    Making DH's handprint and fist print from paint, laminating it, and putting it on the wall so the kids can high-five or fist-bump when they have a big moment (it's their thing)
    Having the kids send him drawings and him send the "story" he makes up to go along with the drawing each month.

    Plus the other stuff I've heard a lot about like deployment walls with time and weather, bears with his voice in them, quilts with pics of them together, etc.
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    #13
    Another newbie here. These are some great ideas. Both my ds love to create art projects for Db and they decorate and pick themes for care packages. Db gets a daily pic in email of the boys or boys and I, many times just being silly as that's what we do. When we Skype, which has only been a few times, they talk about the pics we sent among other things. He feels like he's more a part of their day even if doesn't get to read the emails daily, he will read them as he can. DS are 5 and soon to be 3.
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ldk123 View Post
    Another newbie here. These are some great ideas. Both my ds love to create art projects for Db and they decorate and pick themes for care packages. Db gets a daily pic in email of the boys or boys and I, many times just being silly as that's what we do. When we Skype, which has only been a few times, they talk about the pics we sent among other things. He feels like he's more a part of their day even if doesn't get to read the emails daily, he will read them as he can. DS are 5 and soon to be 3.

    Sorry didn't realize this was such an old thread.
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by kathleenwst View Post
    As the parent of an Army Sgt. deployed twice to Iraq, my friend Paula and I have tried to make things easier for the littlest members of the Military Family and their parents.I am new on this site, but do want to share the resources we have for kids that are facing deployment. Our website has free coloring pages, and free parent guides in addition to our books, We Serve Too!, for deployment and reunion. One idea that you can access on our website is making a Homecoming Box. It is a box that is carefully decorated by the child. This special box is then a place to save tangible things that the child wants to keep to share with the deployed parent when they return. If you go to the zoo, it might be a zoo map, or a tiny plastic animal. There are many ideas on the website under Homecoming Box. We also have stickers to adapt the books to any Military Branch. Hope that helps! Our website is We Serve Too! - A children's illustrated book by Wee the People Publishers
    I think this site is a wonderful resource for parents helping kids deal with parent deployments. While I may not have this same experience as a parent, I know that at some point I will have clients (as a therapist) struggling with deployment and how to help a child understand what that means. I really like the coloring pages and books that are available. Making the resources child friendly is vital to helping a young child understand things that they cannot understand through words alone. I also think the Homecoming Box is a wonderful interactive idea that benefits both the child, the at-home parent, and the deployed parent. This not only results in a wonderful gift to give the deployed parent, but can help the child feel like they are playing an active role in saving up items to share with that parent. I also imagine this homecoming box as a helpful tool for children with parents away for other reasons such as incarceration or work. I will most definitely recommend this site and some of these ideas to parents helping children through deployment or other long-term absences.
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