The Power of a Parent
At first glance, the finding that children of deployed service members are more than twice as likely to suffer stress as other kids their age looks like just another piece of depressing news. But there’s actually an upside to it. The study, published last month in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, showed that children’s emotional well-being was directly linked to the mental state of the parent at home. In other words, if mom or dad was depressed or angry, their child was more likely to be, too.
This means that you, as a parent, can help your child weather the challenges of deployment as long as you recognize when you need a bit of support yourself. And fortunately, help is available. The study found that tapping into extended family and taking advantage of the programs available through the military and through the civilian community can go a long way in easing the strain that parents feel when their spouse is deployed.
Military OneSource is among those programs that can help. It’s free to service members and their families and is available 24/7, any day of the year. We’ll help you manage your stress so you can help your children with theirs. Call 1-800-342-9647 or go to http://www.militaryonesource.com to learn more. You can also enroll in iCanRelax, our free healthy habits coaching program. Read about ways to take care of yourself during your spouse’s deployment and to help your children do the same.