Preparing for Deployment: Stressors for Parents

deployment

Perhaps the most disruptive, yet most common event for today’s military families is deployment. It’s easy to believe that the separation of a service member from his or her family for months at a time would be difficult for every member of the family. What may be surprising, though, is that the months leading up to deployment can be stressful, too.

The Emotional Cycle of Deployment

Those who study the psychological well-being of military families talk about five stages …

Preparing for Deployment: Supporting Young Children

Child holding soldier's hand

Preparing for the deployment of a service member is an emotionally, physically, and relationally taxing time for parents in a military family facing deployment. (Read more about the challenges for parents.) But the adults are not the only ones affected. In spite of the fact that young children are able to understand very little about what lies ahead, particularly if this is the first deployment they’ve faced, deployment is a stressful experience for them because it affects the most …

Supporting Young Military-Connected Children When They Are Most Vulnerable

Girl with curly hair crying

Child care professional Kara can tell when a parent of one of her toddlers is deployed simply by the increase in tantrums and clinging and the loss of skills like potty training.

What’s happening here? The short answer is stress. Kara’s toddlers are communicating (sometimes very loudly) that they are experiencing changes to their small world that they don’t understand, have no control over, and don’t know what to do about. Their bodies and brains are reacting with the …

What Child Care Providers Need to Understand about Stress in Military Children

Child holding soldier's hand

There’s no question that military life can be stressful for all members of military families, including young children. Child care providers working with children from military families need to recognize that living in a military family has emotional ups and downs and find ways to help children cope with the stresses of military family life. The first step in helping children manage their stress is to understand how and why children in military families experience stress.

The Body’s Stress Response

Helping Children in Child Care Handle Anger

Angry todler

Anger and frustration are common emotions for young children. Child care providers can help young children learn how to handle anger in productive ways by helping them identify angry feelings, understand that anger is normal, and express their anger in healthy ways.

Helping Children Label Angry Feelings

Remember that young children do not automatically understand emotions. Giving children the words to label feelings will help them recognize and respond to emotions, both in themselves and in others.

Reading children’s books …