The month of the Military Child is coming to a close. We have thought of ways to celebrate the resiliency of kids who learn to wait for a parent to return, who move frequently from friends and extended family, who can’t feel roots, though they test their wings in ways most children never do.
They sleep with bears that speak with the voice of a deployed parent, on pillows with that parents picture. They wear dog tags that say “I will be strong and courageous” and strong and courageous they are.
We cannot forget the children. April is a great month to celebrate them, but please remember, parents are deployed every month of the year, and children wait at home.
If you know a Miltiary Family, look out for the kids. Offer to help with homework, take them for ice cream, tell them you know it is not easy.
Kids are resilient, but not made of stone. Tears are good sometimes and a listening ear a comfort to the heart.
If you are a teacher and have a Military child in your class, perhaps you can make a point of having the class send notes, or artwork occasionally to that child’s parent. It will please the parent, and create a belonging and sharing in your class that can help that child feel less alone.
If you are a parent, remember that though your children are very close to you, you need to talk about problems and difficulties with another caring adult. You are the rock while your spouse is away, and children need to feel secure. The temptation to share too much with a child is there, as you feel alone too, but there are many people willing to help you if you reach out to your church, your friends, family or other Military Families who know what you are going through.
Children need to stay connected. There are many good resources to help you guide a child in creative and fun ways to stay in touch with a deployed parent. The resources at We Serve Too! are designed with this in mind. These resources can be found at at http://weservetoo.com/
Lets remember to celebrate these wonderful kids, and not just in April!