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SOURCE Real Warriors Campaign
WASHINGTON, April 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Keeping in touch with a parent who is deployed or away from home for training or other duties can be a major source of concern for children. Communicating with someone overseas or across the country is not easy and at times may seem impossible. It is common for children to feel disconnected from the parent who is away and to have difficulty coping. The Real Warriors Campaign (www.realwarriors.net) has articles that provide tips and resources that family members can use to stay connected and ease the period of separation for the child.
When it is time for a parent to deploy, children may react differently based on their age. In the early years, children will often distance themselves, cry frequently or have a change in lifestyle patterns such as eating and sleeping habits. As they grow older, children may respond to a parent's deployment with anger, they may act out or even pretend they do not care.
According to Capt. Wanda Finch, Chief, Psychological Health Advocacy Division at the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, "Children respond differently to any separation from their parents depending on their age and maturity level. Whether the separation is because of a deployment or a training mission, communication is key to sustaining family resiliency."
There are ways to prepare before and during the separation to make it easier for the service member, the parent at home and the child. The campaign website has a number of resources for military families, and offers the following tips for keeping in touch and strengthening family bonds:
Helping children cope with challenges can have a positive impact on the overall psychological health and well-being of the military family. Visit the Real Warriors Campaign at www.realwarriors.net for more tips and resources to help military families (http://realwarriors.net/family) and children (http://realwarriors.net/family/children) cope with separations and transitions. Service members, including members of the National Guard and reserve, veterans and military families can confidentially speak with a trained resource consultant 24/7 through the Real Warriors Live Chat feature (http://realwarriors.net/livechat) or by calling 866-966-1020. Also watch our newest volunteer, 1st Sgt. Aaron Tippet (http://realwarriors.net/multimedia/profiles/tippett.php), share his story about reaching out for help and the importance of family in building and maintaining resilience.
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