I found an interesting article at MilitaryOneSource MC&FP eMagazine and wanted to share it.

I hope someone can find the information helpful!

Separation can be tough for children year-round, but it may be hardest to cope with during the holiday season. To a child, separation can be challenging whether it's temporary, such as a deployment, or more permanent, like a divorce or a move.

No matter what kind of separation a child may be facing this holiday season, there are little things that you can do to help whether you're a parent, extended family member or family friend.

Deployment separation

Reassure your child that the holidays will still be a happy occasion despite mom or dad's absence by doing the following:

  • Stick to regular family holiday traditions as much as possible.
  • Send the holidays to your deployed loved one. Involve your child in creating holiday care packages with small or homemade decorations. Care packages with a personal touch can brighten your loved one's holiday season overseas while helping your child feel connected.
  • Include your deployed loved one in holiday festivities even in their absence. Include mom or dad's favorite side dish at Thanksgiving dinner, or carry out one of his or her favorite holiday traditions.
  • Participate in installation or community holiday events that actively involve children.
  • Take pictures and videos of your child at holiday events to send to your deployed loved one or view them together when he or she returns home.
  • Celebrate with a traditional holiday meal or other family tradition when the service member returns.



Move or divorce separation

The first holiday season following a major event like a move or a divorce may be hard on your child. Help them have a happy holiday season with the following tips:

  • Communicate with long distance loved ones throughout the season.
  • Stick to family traditions.
  • Focus on the positive aspects of a new location or situation.
  • Include new friends in family events or joining installation or community events.



No matter the reason for your separation during the holidays, help your child feel safe, secure and loved by being involved and staying positive.