Blended families could learn a lot from the activities of military families with kids. Let’s glean seven tips on how to stay close when one parent is far away.
Having a loved one in the military can place lots of strain on other family members. Indeed, they spend most of their time worrying, and the rest missing their husband or wife. Still, there are lots of things all families can do to ensure they stay close when one parent is far away. It’s important for everyone in the military and their partners to consider some of the advice from this page. They should do that for the benefit of their children who run the risk of growing up without their mother or father. Contrary to popular belief, it’s easy to keep in contact and ensure the kids get to speak to their guardian. Just read this article carefully and then put some of the tips into action.
Get the Kids to Write Letters
Written letters are often the best way to keep in touch with a loved one in the military. There is an excellent postal service that will ensure all mail reaches the person regardless of where they are forced to spend their time. Turn the process into an exciting event and get the kids together to sit down and write. Just be sure to read the letters to ensure they aren’t too heartbreaking. Try to keep them quite formal because commanding officers might take a read. While the children might want to say something deep, it’s important not to place too much stress on the shoulders of a soldier who is probably already fighting a war. Still, some kind messages could be enough to keep the individual going through the toughest of times. Just be sure to ask the person for their:
- Military numbers
- Military postal address
Relocate to Near the Military Base
Depending on the situation at the time, lots of soldiers have to spend time abroad. Contrary to popular belief, that doesn’t only happen during wartime. With that in mind, some families might decide that relocating is the best option. After selling the family home, people could look for an apartment or duplex for sale in the place their loved one is stationed. That makes sense if the individual spends more than around six months on the other side of the world. Some parents might not want to do that if their children are over the age of five. That is because the process would involve a lot of changes, and some kids won’t want to leave their friends. However, those with younger kids shouldn’t encounter too many issues.
Use Skype and Other Video Calling Tools
The military uses a lot of advanced technology these days, and so it’s fantastic that some soldiers can now access Skype and other software. That is the case, even if they serve in the middle of the desert in Afghanistan. Each soldier usually gets a small amount of time to use the computers and converse with their loved ones. So, be sure to download a package of that nature to all laptops and desktops in the home. Hopefully, the kids will get a surprise call here and there that will put a smile on their faces. It’s wise to call the barracks to get all the relevant information about which video calling software they currently use. Some soldiers even take their mobile phones and use FaceTime, although that isn’t technically allowed.
Take Lots of Photographs
It stands to reason that any person in the military is going to miss a lot of their children important life events. With that in mind, the partner at home needs to make sure they invest in a decent camera. That way, that person can take lots of photos and send them to their loved one in the mail. Individuals in the armed forces love getting photographs from home because it helps to lift their spirits during the hardest of times. Also, we are living in the digital age, and so it’s often possible to forward the pictures using email so the person can see them as soon as possible. Still, be sure to continue writing because that’s a little more personal, and partners can leave their scent on the paper.
Arrange Action-Packed Adventures During Leave
At some point, the person in the military will get some leave so they can spend time with their families. It’s vital that the partner at home plans lots of fun activities for the kids. The children need to make happy memories while they’re young, and so it’s important to pack as much fun into the spare time as possible. Some families might like to:
- Arrange holidays or vacations
- Purchase theme park tickets
- Go camping in the wilderness
- See a movie together
- Visit parks and open spaces
- And much more
The goal is just to make sure the person gets to spend some quality time with their kids, and the children realize how much their parents love them. Most military personnel will only have a few weeks to spare before going back on duty. So, don’t waste any time!
Consider a Military Community
There are military communities all around the world in which the partners and families of people in the armed forces all live together. It’s not the best move for everyone, but some folks claim they love the experience. Something is comforting about being in the same boat as everyone else living in the area. For instance, people who choose to reside in a military community will:
- Get lots of support from other military families
- Get a better insight into coping techniques
- Raise their kids with other children who only have one parent around most of the time
In most situations, the first step is for the person in the army to get in touch with their superiors. Explain that the family would like to move to a community and then ask for advice. With a bit of luck, someone will gather all the appropriate information and pass it on.
Don’t Let the Kids Watch the News
Children scare easily, and so whoever’s left at home should ensure they never look at the news. That is especially the case if their mother or father is currently spending time in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria. The news reports from those places are always shocking, and they show the worst side of those countries. Most kids will get upset if they see the conditions in which one of their parents is having to spend time. They might also hear stories about soldiers dying in conflicts, and so it’s sensible to block all those channels on the TV. That should also assist the partner at home to refrain from stressing too much about their loved one’s well-being.
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Alongside that advice, some folks might also consider speaking to school teachers and letting them know about the situation. There are some topics that teachers might touch upon in the classroom that could cause children to become sad. With that in mind, letting the school know that one parent is in the military could encourage them to tread a little more carefully when it comes to discussing particular events and situations.
Whatever happens in the future, just be sure to work hard to build a robust family unit. When people dedicate their lives to protecting this country, they deserve the utmost respect from society and those around them. Nobody said the military life was going to be a walk in the park. The entire family will make many sacrifices, but none of them is anything compared to those made by the individual who chose to sign their name on the dotted line. Just remember to love each other no matter what, and the family will always stay close.