Being a military family has its ups and downs. The separations, deployments and moves can put a strain on your family life. Personally, I love military life and can’t imagine life any other way. When you have kids in this sort of environment, it can be a challenge to know how to fill the gap while one of their parents is away. To help you out with this, this article will be exploring some of the best methods to make these times easier on the kids.
Remembering someone’s face or the sound of their voice when you haven’t seen them for a very long time can be hard, and it will feel bad to have limited conversations with your other half while they are serving in the military. Thankfully, nowadays, there are loads of tools out there which can support you through this. Below, you can find some examples which are all great for use with children.
VoIP/Phone: Services like Skype and Facebook Messenger have become very popular over the last few years. Enabling video calling over bad internet connections, this will be the closest thing you have to chatting face to face. Likewise, a phone can be good for this, but won’t have the right sort of card inside it. Facebook Messenger Video works well and helps kids to remember mom or dad so that when they return they will be familiar.
Letters/Emails: There’s nothing like reading through the words someone has written to make you miss them. While this is bittersweet, a lot of people will enjoy it, and will want to have some letters or emails available to cover this area. Kids can write letters and draw pictures to include in care packages or mail on their own.
Parcels: Finally, as the last communication option to consider, and the most important I think, it could be worth thinking about sending something more than a letter. For events like birthdays and Christmas, it will feel wrong to ignore your partner. Instead, you should be sending them gifts, while also giving them the chance to send things to yourself and the children. My kids love helping pick out items to send to their dad, helping pack and decorate the box. You can have your kids draw pictures then use them to decorate the inside of the box.
Something To Spark Memories:
In some cases, chatting to their mom or dad will be enough to keep the kids happy while they are away. Of course, though, you should be looking for more than simply keeping them content. Having a missing parent for these times will leave a big hole in a child’s life. While this experience doesn’t have to be a negative one, it often results in unhappy kids when it isn’t handled correctly. You might consider investing in a dog to help keep your child busy and give them a new connection.
Getting a dog will come with some work, and most people will want some help along the way. Modern companies like Pet-Lock are always well-stocked with loads of different medical tools to support a dog, making it easier to keep them healthy. Alongside this, you can also rely on your kids to do some of the work as they get a little older. Having a pet can help teach your child responsibility and give them something to keep their mind off mom or dad being away. When you decide to go down this route, it will be worth having the whole family there when it comes to choosing the furry friend joining your home.
Teamwork is important in any relationship, as it helps to build a strong bond between those involved. Of course, in a military parent arrangement, this quality is even more important, and you will be both need to work hard to make life easier for each other. For example, when the hero comes home, it would be nice to give the full-time parent a break to enjoy some time for themselves. You must also consider that the parent that is returning will need some downtime too. Along with this, you will both need to work together to make the transitions at the stage of your child’s life as smooth as possible.
Supporting Their Cause/Making It Your Own:
Finally, as the last area to consider, it will be very hard for you to relate to one another if you don’t hold the same values. For a lot of people in the military, there is more than national pride keeping them on the front line, and they will have their own reasons for wanting to protect others. This is a cause which both sides of the relationship can champion together. Getting involved with your FRG can be very helpful. Some FRG’s have challenges during a deployment for both the deployed soldiers and their spouses at home. For example, how many miles can they walk or run! Soldiers and spouses track their steps and/or miles throughout the deployment.
Of course, this will only help to tie your family together if you use the right sort of methods to do it. Getting your children involved will help, as it will give them fresh things to talk about, along with items to show their mom or dad whenever they come home. This can involve enrolling them in a class such as gymnastics, helping them to do charity work, and even getting their school involved in supporting deployed soldiers.
This sort of work becomes more important the younger your children are. As they reach each stage of their development, they will find it much easier to come to terms with the idea of mom or dad fighting overseas. With the tools you have, it is possible to keep in touch with people wherever they are in the world, even if they don’t have any sort of cell signal. This sort of action isn’t just good for the kids, though, as it can also have a strong positive impact on your relationship throughout the time given to the military.
Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the time you put into bridging the gap while one of your children’s parents are away. It can be challenging, especially when you have multiple children and have a long deployment or separation. Over time, though, it will slowly get easier, and you will eventually it will become easier to handle.