07 October 2010

Deployment Tips

Yesterday I touched a little on my son and the struggle of his daddy leaving for a year.  My hubby and I are not taking this lightly and we are trying very hard to help him deal with this moment of struggle in his life.  He is six years old; he does not understand why his daddy has to leave him for so long.  Well, the hubby and I have done some research, talked with other members and their family whom have deployed, and also came up with a few ideas of our own. Below is a list of things families can do to help a child cope with a parent deploying, during deployment or having to be gone for an amount of time due to work or any other reasons.
1. Calendar to show days until parent should be arriving home.

2.  Emails

3.  Skype

4.  A paper chain that the child and deploying parent make together.

5.  Have the deployed parent purchase a large amount of Hershey kisses and store in a large jar.  Each night as the child goes to bed they receive a kiss from their parent.

6.  Have parent leave cologne or perfume.

7.  Leave the child a special shirt or item of clothing specifically for child. 

8.  Mail letter...yes snail mail.  All children love to receive mail.

9.  Care packages to parent and also parent sends one to child.

10.  Start a game of tic-tac-toe.  Child starts the game by placing their X or O in spot and then mail it to parent.  The parent then takes their turn and mails it back and so on. Or instead of tic-tac-toe, make up a story.  The child does three to five lines and then mails it to the parent and then the parent adds to it and mails it back.(My friend "S" told me about these ideas).

11.  Take pictures together prior to leaving and decorate a frame together or find a special picture frame.

12.  Video diaries~ have child make a video diary to share with parent.

13.  Find books to read to child about deploying. Some books that I love are "The Kissing Hand" and "We Server To! A Child's Deployment Book"

14.  Have parent record them reading a story to the child.

15.  My hubby and children made a mailbox together that sits in our living room.  Each time my children receive mail from daddy I am to put it in their own little mail slot.  (Picture is posted at bottom post).

16.  Have the child talk with a professional if need be.  The military offers a service called Military Life Consultants and I spoke with one in regards to my son.  The consultants are here to help deal with many issues and one of those issues is children and deployments.  They offer advice or ideas that can help a child cope.

17.  Be supportive of the child when the child is crying or really miss their parent. 

18.  "Hug a Daddy Doll".  We will be purchasing one for each of our children.  Voice recorders can be added to these dolls also.

19.  Have child create a journal or a photo collage of the things they have done while the parent was gone.

These are just a few things that I have come up with from the top of my head.  I know there are many more and if you have any ideas that I left out please feel free to leave a comment with your suggestion.

Here is the "mailbox" that my hubby and children made together.

**Please be considerate when leaving a comment.  Thank you**


  1. You have some really great ideas here! Regarding the care packages to a parent, send homemade things - my neighbor and her children baked cookies and mailed those. Baking together was a highlight to the kids, and later kids and daddy had "cookie parties" over the skype.

  2. There are also a couple of other books that could be worth reading:

    Michele Ferguson: Daddy, You're My Hero

    Also, for parents it might be worthwile to read Thomas Hardaway's "Supporting the Child Whose Military Parent is Deploying: Tips for Parents". This is an easy book to read, and gives a pretty good idea how children cope with the deployment.

    Greetings from Alaska! :-)

  3. It is obvious how committed you are to making sure your family is taken care of with deployment and you are doing a great job. May I let you know of another great resource? OPERATION GIVE A HUG.org. A military charity that donates for FREE 100% the original Daddy Dolls with a booklet of resources to help the families. FRG leaders can get one for every child of a deployed parent (while supplies last) by contacting Susan Agustin at SLA767@msn.com or call 1-253-691-9391. She has helped over 250,000 children with much more to come. If it is someone who is not eligible they can purchase recordable or non recordable at only $12.95 to $15.95 total at www.huggeemissyou.com. God Bless and hope this helped.

  4. You have some great ideas! I saw that one was to have the parent record a book so the little one(s) can listen to it while they are away. I wanted to let you know that Halmark (I'm pretty sure) has books that do just that within the book itself. Each time you turn the page, the words just from that page come on. It's so cool. My boys have received a couple of these from their Grandparents and they love them. "It's grandma reading," my son says. :)
    My prayers are with you and your little ones!!!
    God bless you!

  5. Hi there! I am your newest follower from the Friday blog hop!!! Lovely blog:) You can find me at www.bouffeebambini.blogspot.com

  6. Sending hugs to you. My husband just got back a few months ago from a ten month deployment. It really went much more quickly than I thought it would have. I love your tic tac toe idea! Praying that it goes quickly for you as well.



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