As a military service member, you take pride in your sacrifice to serve and protect your country. You’re making the ultimate sacrifice to protect the entire nation’s freedom. You may be wondering, “How do I communicate this with my child?” It can be tough to sit down with your child and tell them that you’ll be leaving for six-to-18 months. It’s even harder when your child begins to ask questions you don’t know the answers to. Remember, you’re not alone. Thousands of families across the nation are doing the same thing you’re doing. It’s important, however, that you talk to your kids about your deployment, stay connected with them while you’re gone, and celebrate your return when you come home.
One way to stay connected is to utilize the Sapphire MiFi device, an international hotspot device that enables internet use in over 100-plus countries worldwide. The device makes it easier to stay connected and continue to foster communication with your children and other loved ones.
In this article, Sapphire will share some general advice on how to talk to your kids about your deployment.
Start The Conversation
First, talk to your children sooner than later. The more time they have to process the change in your life and theirs, the more time they have to ask questions and get used to the idea of you, their guardian and guide in life, being gone. No matter how old your child is, it will not be easy telling them, but you must do it sooner rather than later.
Be Open And Honest
As you communicate your deployment, keep the conversation age appropriate as you see fit. However, you must be candid with them. Answer their questions in an optimistic light. Explain to them how everything works, what they can expect, and how they can stay connect to you with a Sapphire MiFi device. Remind them that you will always love them. Communicate that you’re going away to help them, their friends, and the people of the community. Connect your deployment to the goodness that it brings our great country.
Simplify Your Language
You don’t need to explain war tactics, the political unrest in the nation you’re deploying to, or why it matters that you deploy. Keep things simple for them. For example, keep your explanations to one or two sentences. Here are some examples:
- Mommy is going to [enter country here] to train new doctors
- Daddy is going to [enter location here] to help save some people who are in trouble
Focus on the positive impact you will make by deploying. Kids may lean toward the negative and what they’ve seen on television or heard from friends. Your job is to help them understand the positive and position your deployment in that light. Yes, you need to be honest with them, but there’s a difference between scaring your child and assuring them.
Acknowledge And Address Fears
War is scary. It will cause rise to expected and unexpected emotions. In fact, you want to acknowledge these emotions and address them directly. Sweeping fear, anxiety, worry, and more under the rug will only hurt your child in the long run. Ask them to explain their feelings, talk them through their feelings, and reassure them that you are there to support them. You don’t need all the answers, but you do need to reassure them that you are here for them if they need it.
Do Your Best To Not Make Promises
As much as you want to promise your child that you will be home at the end of your tour, you cannot guarantee that. It’s tough to wrestle with informing your child that you are sacrificing your own life to serve others. In fact, they may not understand right now why you’re deploying. But, you must tell them why you’re doing what you’re doing. Later, they will begin to see and understand why you’ve chosen to serve your country and its people.
Stay Connected. Get Sapphire.
There are moments in life that we simply cannot control the outcome. But we can control our reaction to them. One of these reactions can be how we support our military families, specifically, our children. As a military service member, you’re making the ultimate sacrifice for your family and your country. Take the time to invest in your child’s emotional health. Stay connected to them while you’re on tour. Celebrate your return when you come home. Do it all with Sapphire MiFi. Shop online now.