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Helping Children Adjust

Created by: Melissa Werner
Posted : Monday January 01, 1900

Useful tips to help during deployments

Reactions Techniques

Birth to 1 Year

Cries, fusses and pulls away from the parent
Clings to the parent or caregiver who stayed behind
Changes sleeping and eating habits
Does not recognize the parent
Hold the baby, and hug him or her a lot
Bathe and change the baby
Feed and play with the baby
Relax and be patient - the baby will warm up

1 to 3 Years

Does not recognize the parent
Has temper tantrums
Regresses (no longer toilet trained)
Don't force holding, hugging or kissing
Give them space
Give them time to warm up
Be gentle and fun
Sit at their level

3 to 5 Years

Demonstrates anger
Acts out to get the parent's attention
Is demanding
Feels guilty for making the parent go away
Talks a lot to bring the parent up to date
Listen to them
Accept their feelings
Play with them
Reinforce your love for them
Ask about interests, from TV to preschool

5 to 12 Years

Has fears of inadequacy
Dreads the parent's return because of discipline
Boasts about the Army and the parent
Review pictures, schoolwork, activities, scrap books
Praise what they have done
Try not to criticize

13 to 18 Years

Is excited
Feels guilty about not living up to standards
Is concerned about rules and responsibilities
Unwilling to change plans to accommodate parent
Is rebellious
Share what has happened with you
Listen with undivided attention
Don't be judgmental
Respect privacy and friends
Don't tease about fashion, music

Source: Soldiers Online "Hot Topics - Reunion"  Summer 2003

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