Effects Of Military Deployment on Preschool Children and suggestions to Help Support Them and Their Family
The Department Of Defense reports that roughly 2 million children in the United States are in a military household and roughly 200,000 kids have a parent in war at any particular time.
Many army Families seemingly take military setup as a given and in stride. Many households do not, especially when you add a preschooler to this mix. Preschoolers do not know how to have a parent away for lengthy periods” in stride”
Preschool Children’s lives are based on daily routines and it is the way they”tell time.” When they brush their teeth at night, by way of instance, they know what comes next- may be a narrative or prayer using a parent and then time for bed. If you try to tuck a preschool into bed Who’s used to this type of routine, they will be confused and the dialog maybe something like:
Parent: Hop under the covers”
Preschooler: “It’s not bedtime yet!”
Parent: It’s 7:30.”
Preschooler: “No, it is not! It is not bedtime!”
Parent: (pointing ), “Sweetie, it is 7:30. It is time for bed.”
Preschooler: “But I didn’t brush my teeth”
They Don’t Necessarily want to brush their teeth for the dental hygiene benefits! They want to brush their teeth because that’s their routine; it is how they are aware that it is bedtime.
Having a military Parent deployed, you can imagine the number of daily routines will now be different for the preschool student. This confusion can manifest itself in behavioral issues not standard for this particular kid.
A research study About the effects of deployment on preschool (1) note hitting, biting, and anxiety as the most reported behavioral alterations. The children are reacting not only to your parent being away for an extended duration but as well as the extra stress of their increased duties on the parent not deployed. Preschoolers pick up on this anxiety naturally. They also will observe the time spent with the parent at home on account of the parent’s increased responsibilities.
The American School Counselor Association and the National Association of School Psychologists supplied of advice for families to look at when a parent’s military deployment is nearing. I have added advice for approaches we, as educators and caregivers, can employ in our classrooms.
1. Stick with Characteristics; maintain consistency.
Families should try their best to keep their everyday routines (for example, morning routines, bed occasions, and daily chores) as constant as they can as the deployment date nears. Teachers need to, As mentioned above, keep patterns the same. Consistency and predictability can help the preschooler feel more secure.
2. Communicate Often and consistently.
Families The Associations recommend that families share information, feelings, and strategies to Overcome sad feelings and also to avoid minimizing what is occurring. Kids cannot Inform time. The family can help the children have a visual time reminder by Creating a countdown calendar to count the days until your parent leaves or Comes home.