Communicating with Children about Deployments
Communicating effectively with children about deployment – both before and during deployment – is critical for reducing stress and anxiety for both the children and their parents.
Below is a list of resources that can help you work with your children when a parent is deployed/
- “Helping Children Cope During Deployment,” by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. (PDF Document)
- “U.S. Army Deployment Support Handbook: Children and Youth,” U.S. Department of the Army (PDF Document)
- “Resources for Military Children Affected by Deployment,” by the U.S. Army Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Command, Child and Youth Services (PDF Document)
- “Helping Children Cope During Deployment“, by MilitaryMentalHealth.org.
- “Preparing Children for Deployment,” by RealWarriors.net
- “Helping Children Handle Deployments,” by SurvivingDeployments.com
- “Families Prepare to Help Children Cope During Military Deployments,” Military Family Network, published on www.emilitary.org
Childhood Traumatic Grief and Military Children
Children in military families are incredibly resilient and typically thrive among supportive family and friends who understand their needs. But there are times when their resilience is tested. Sadly some children and teens will not have the wished-for reunion with their military family member or friend, but instead will have to deal with the death of this special person. Others will have a reunion only to lose the person to a devastating death days, weeks or months later due to self-injury or other military-related causes.
We’ve compiled the following list of resources to assist parents, friends and others to help children through these traumatic events.
- “When Families Grieve” is a initiative of the Sesame Workshop and the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE). It’s a multiphase, bilingual, multimedia initiative that guides families through the kinds of changes that are often intrinsic to military life.
- Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress – information and resources regarding a range of issues, including stress related to combat injuries and death.
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) – an excellent resource on a wide range of issues related to traumatic stress and grief in children
- “Traumatic Grief in Military Children” – Information for medical providers by the NCTSN.
- “Responding to Childhood Traumatic Grief” – article by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). See the “Related Stories” item.
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). This web site provides links to information and services for survivors and caregivers.