HomeAbout UsFact SheetsDisplay

141st - Deployment Resources (Ages 5-8)

Deployment - Emotional Signs and Coping Strategies 

0-3   3-5   5-8   8-12   13-18   Adults
 

Children: Ages 5-8 

Pre-Deployment 

Emotional Signs:
More irritability or crabbiness
Increased aggression
Increased school problems; dropped grades, unwillingness to attend, odd complaints about school/friends 

Suggestions for Coping:
Praise children for their efforts to cope with the pending separation
Listen to your children; ask for their opinions, preferences
Ask child to draw a special picture for the parent to take along
Brainstorm with children creative ways of keeping in touch...cassette tapes, puzzle letters, encoded messages, etc

During Deployment 

Emotional Signs:
Clings/unexplained crying tearfulness
Changed relationships with same aged friends
Prefers adults over same-age friends
Increased aggression
Shrinking away from people
Sleep difficulties (nightmares, waking)
Regressing in toileting/thumb sucking
Eating difficulties
Complaints about stomach aches, headaches,or other illnesses when nothing seems to be wrong
Increased school problems; dropped grades, unwillingness to attend,odd complaints about school/teachers 

Suggestions for Coping:
Give children a method of measuring the passage of time such as a ceremonial crossing-off on each day on the calendar
Talk about the deployed parent often and spend time looking at scrapbooks and photo albums with children
Help children "write" letters and encourage them to draw pictures to send
Keep the lines of communication open between you, your children, and the children's teacher.

Reunion / Homecoming 

Emotional Signs:
Feel guilty they weren't good enough or didn't do enough
Boasts about the service and the parents
Talks the entire way home trying to bring parent up-to-date 

Suggestions for Coping:
Praise children for their efforts to cope with the separation
Listen to your children; ask for their opinions, preferences
Review school work with your children
Share scrapbooks, pictures, etc.