Military Parents: 3 Simple Ways to Connect With Your Military Children by Rebecca Townsend

Fatherhood
6 months ago
Military Parents: 3 Simple Ways to Connect With Your Military Children

Our country has been at war for 16 years – the longest war in U.S. history. During the Vietnam era, only 15 percent of service members had children. Today, more than 40 percent of service members have children. More than two million children have experienced a parent deployed. 

Mental health providers, military families and the U.S. Department of Defense have reported increased mental health needs of military children in comparison to civilian children. This is no surprise given the high levels of stress military members and military spouses encounter with deployments, training and the high operational tempo of day-to-day life in the military.

Parents' stress is felt by the children. There is no way around it – that's part of human nature. Having lived and worked in a military community for 25 years, I help families and community member successfully navigate these challenges. I advocate being truthful in an age-appropriate manner. If we don't speak truth to our children, the stories they create in their heads are much worse. Here are some tips:

  • We should validate their fears; don't brush them off. They need to know you hear them and their fears make sense.
  • Empathize with them. Say, "Yes, I feel that way, too."
  • Community members also can provide space for connection.

Related Products on Amazon We Think You May Like:

30Second Mobile, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Military Deployment: A Fun Way to the Ease Pain of Family Separation

No Veteran Left Behind: #BeThere Campaign Encourages Us to Take Note of Veterans at Risk for Suicide

Honor Flight Network: A Letter of Gratitude to My Grandfather, Veterans & Community

Finding Your Community: Here's Why It Rocks to Be a Part of the 30Seconds Tribe!

Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
Wow, 16 years. That is way too long. The stress on these families is intense. Thank you for this very important tip, Rebecca Townsend !
Renee Herren
Rebecca Townsend You know this weighs heavy on my heart. Mental health care for the family of our service members is just as important as the care for our veterans. Thank you for advocating for our service members, helping their families, and for sharing this tip!

join discussion

Please login to comment.

recommended tips

Mom & Dad, Prioritizing Your Partner Is Prioritizing Your Kids! Read This!

Child Safety: Here Are 7 Steps Parents Can Take to Keep Kids Safe!

Picture Books: Why I Love Children's Books & How They Help Kids & Adults Learn & Grow!

Father's Viral Diaper Change Post Launches Global #SquatForChange Movement

Got 30 seconds? Sign up for 30Seconds.com and get the best of our tips each week!