If you are in the military yourself, or have someone from the family who does, you would know this – being deployed away from family poses a challenge for the family to stay bonded together. How do these families maintain their ties? Hear it from seniors within the army who share their experience of how to ensure strong bonds with their loved ones.
Deployment affects both military personals and family. The time and location of deployment can range from a brief period of training sessions to very extended periods. Due to the nature of their job they are required to maintain secrecy in communication with their family members and friends and interpretation of their future plans, which are considers to be the common parts of deployment. Military deployments are viewed as events which may lead to variations in the relationship between family member and bonding with children for military parents.
Impact of parental deployment can lead to a variety of emotional disturbances in children. These emotions may range from anxiety, fear to anger and sadness. Taking into consideration the above scenario and the work culture of military personnel it is very important to adopt innovative ways and means to develop a positive and healthy parent child relationship.
Be Honest and Inform your child with as much information possible:
Informing children about deployment in advance can prepare the child to be ready and be more responsible in handling his routine & activities. Focus on the change in their body language and communicate. Open communication prepares the child to develop a sense of responsibility.
As being part of navy we have to sail for long duration and be away from family. At times we are not able to communicate with family members for a longer duration. So before sailing I make it a point to sit with my family and inform them about my duration of my sail, possibility of communication that can be established
Spend Quality time with the child when back from the deployment:
Deployment results into a small gap between the family members as they are away from family for a long time. In order to maintain a balance, it is important to be a part of the family and try to spend as much as quality time with children. This develops a sense of involvement and togetherness among the parents and children.
I have two kids. One loves to play cricket and the others enjoys computer games. On my return from deployment I always try to be a part of their games. Simultaneously they also participate and enjoy in my hobbies such as athletics, running, etc
On my return, we plan outing with kids such as having dinners or going out for picnics. As a family we also enjoy playing cards and games at home.
Maintain a routine of sharing daily happenings with the family:
Regularly communicating with family reduces the negative feelings and impact of deployment. This behaviour leads to a very strong bonding between parents and children.
We usually share a call once or twice times in a day about daily happening in the family, well-being of parents and children.
Making home coming and visits special:
Returning from deployment is a time of celebration and union of family. This occasion need to be made little more special for the children to enjoy and feel the warmth of family get together.
Whenever I am being deployed to different places, I always make it a point to get some gifts for my kids.
Sometimes I give my family extended date of my return, just to come early to surprise them.
Parent child relationship plays a very important role in overall growth and development of family members. The challenges of deployment need to tackled in a more positive and innovative manner in order to develop and maintain a strong and healthy relationship.