Library resources for coping with deployment
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. - Deployments can be hard for the whole family - for the deployers, the spouses and especially for the children.
How do you describe the concept of war to your 6-year-old child? What do you say to your child or children to calm anxieties about your or your spouse's deployment?
One way to help ease the tension of explaining a deployment to a child is through a free program titled "Talk, Listen, Connect" offered through the base library. Lessen the child's worries with the included DVD and activity poster, while also bringing enlightenment to the caregiver with the included informational magazine.
Information provided includes "what to expect during pre-deployment, deployment and homecoming; strategies and activities to help young children through these times; and ways to keep your family connected," according to the parent/caregiver magazine.
"'Talk, Listen, Connect' uses Sesame Street characters to talk about when moms or dads leave for a deployment," said Sherry Hokanson, base library director. "It's for children to help them understand what's happening, and it's another resource to help our Air Force families cope with the issues of deployment."
The Sesame Street theme, also available in Spanish, allows children to see familiar characters deal with circumstances similar to their own.
"One character talks about how sad he is because his dad is gone and suggestions are given for how to deal with the way he feels," said Ms. Hokanson.
Not only does the program provide an interactive avenue to assist children with understanding deployments, it is also a free service available to servicemembers in all branches of the Armed Forces.
Additional resources recommended in the parent/caregiver magazine included in the "Talk, Listen, Connect" program include http://www.deploymentkids.com/, http://www.militarychild.org/, http://www.militaryonesource.com, and http://www.militarystudent.org, among many others.
Other educational materials that can aid in dealing with the difficulties of combining military life with family life can be located through Military OneSource. This includes Parenting in the 21st Century CD, Talking with Children about Violence and War Booklet, Becoming a Mom CD, Being a Dad CD, Helping a Young Child Cope with a Parent's Deployment, Relatives Raising Children when a Parent is Deployed and Single Parenting While your Partner is Deployed.
by Airman 1st Class Kali L. Gradishar
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
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