Raising a family while serving in the military can be both rewarding and challenging. Each family member adjusts to deployment, frequent relocation, and other changes in different ways.
Everyday activities to help your children build emotional strength:
- Show affection, such as hugging, listening, and telling your children you love them.
- Include your family in community activities, especially events for military families.
- Learn about child development. This will help you set realistic expectations for your children.
- Recognize and deal with your stress in a healthy way.
- Surround yourself and your family with supportive family and friends.
The demanding military schedule can lead to conflict between you and others in your life, especially your partner if you have one.
Tips for keeping relationships strong and healthy:
- Communicate. Listen to each other and openly share feelings, both positive and negative. Try to schedule 10 minutes a day to talk with just your partner.
- Go on a date. Do something fun with each other, such as dinner or a walk around the neighborhood.
- Change what isn’t working. Try not to get stuck in your ways when something isn’t working the best. This can be related to budget, house chores, or getting your kids to their activities. If something isn’t working, try a new approach!
- Surprise each other. Plan surprise dates, bring home flowers, or cook dinner. Even the smallest gestures can make a big difference.
- Be active together. Look into local dance classes or sporting events, such as a couple’s league. This can be a time to bond while relaxing and being active.
Different people have different reactions to traumatic events, but one of the most common is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which often affects those who have recently been in combat.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Frequent thinking about the troubling event(s).
Where to get help for PTSD:
- Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger.
- Go to the nearest hospital emergency room if in danger.
- Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.
- Contact the Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 OR text 838255.