Being a part of a military family is never easy. The time of deployment is full of anxiety, confusion, and struggle. Both parents and children are equally affected by it. Adapting to this physical and emotional distance yet keeping the intimate familial bond intact is quite challenging. A few decades back, due to lack of mediums of communication channels, deployments used to affect particularly children, drastically, thus resulting in their emotional disturbance. Similarly, the military men or women that were away from their houses for months or even a year, had difficulty in rebuilding that intimate bond with their families when they used to come back. Thanks to technological development, where there are tools like recording pen being invented, communication has also become easy and we have plenty of channels through which we can bridge the gaps with our spouses or children during the time of deployments. Here are some essential tips that will help you to keep in touch with your family:
It is better to set some ground rules and plans before your spouse goes for deployment. Talk about how frequently you can talk to each other keeping in view the rules of the location they are being sent to. Do not forget to discuss what channel you are going to use to talk conveniently and without any distortions. You spouse may not have ample information about the area they are being deployed to, so you can always revisit and alter your plans every time you talk as per the requirement of the operational area.
Deployment tears your heart in two, only reconnected at homecoming.
What to Talk About
What you talk about during deployment over a phone call or video calls have a long-lasting effect on your relationship and bond. Make sure to communicate and interact constructively over a call. Do not get into an argument because the emotional stress caused by the distance will be already too much to handle. You get on calls to relive your stress and have some cheerful moments where you try to keep your family bond intact. Do not talk about any problems that you are dealing with at home because they can be tackled when your partner will return.
Military Family: Courage, Strength, Sacrifice.
Channels to Stay Connected
If your spouse gets efficient internet access in the deployed area, then it’s the best way to communicate. You can have video calls through Facetime, WhatsApp, Skype, Hangouts, etc. Video calls are the best way to stay connected and help raise your morale through this time. If internet access is not available or allowed, then you can connect through cellular phone or landlines, depending upon the type of area your spouse has been located to. If none of these options are available, then you can always use the old method i.e. writing a letter. You can also ask your children to make a drawing for their father or mother and send it to them. You can also tale pictures of you and your children to send them to your spouse.
Do not change the routine or rules of your house when your spouse leaves. Keeping the same timetable will help to stabilize your children who might be going through emotional stress and missing their other parent. Moreover, when your spouse will get back, he/she will feel at home without having to feel alienated by witnessing any change in this house. you can keep your other spouse’s presence intact by recording their video. For example, if your child is used to hearing a story from his other parent, you can record multiple videos of him/her reading the stories before he/she leaves and plays them every night for your child. Likewise, you can record their videos of them saying good night or good morning and show your toddlers to maintain their same routine. Else if you see any change in your child’s behavior or any sign of anxiety or depression, you can always talk to them and help them cope with it.
Getting through the deployment is not easy for any person of the family. It takes a lot of effort to stay connected and keep the familial bond intact even if you have internet access or cellular phone connection. Following these suggestions, you can lessen the impact of deployment to some extent. Understanding your spouse’s situation and helping him/her and your children cope with it will surely pay off one day. The stronger you are t