As a parent in the military, the challenges you face are unique in comparison to challenges faced by other normal parents. There is a high need for positive parenting for military families to be functional and effective, just like any other family.
Positive Parenting for Military Families
1. Seek support:
As a parent in the military, the challenges in parenting could be imminent. It’s known you may face these challenges, and there are ready resources to help you towards positive parenting. Just consult these resources, and they can help you maneuver within your specific parenting challenges and foster positive parenting.
Some resources you may need to consider are the National Military Family Association, Military OneSource, and Military Child Education Coalition. These resources can help you diagnose your challenges and probable solutions.
2. Be consistent:
Children like an environment where there is routine and some sort of predictability. When you are consistent with your children, they are not bothered by the challenges of your work. They develop some sense of safety and security even when you’re subjected to many work challenges.
Create a predictable routine around things like meal time, bedtime, time to wake up, time for bonding, and family fun, among others. Such routine and predictable activities make kids feel that home is where they are most loved. Consistency in such simple routines may contribute significantly to positive parenting for military families.
3. Stay connected with your family:
Deployment may come unexpectedly. You could be deployed far away from home and at times, be deployed for a substantially long time.
During such a deployment, you may not have time to travel back home to your family even for a weekend. To avoid your children feeling the gap of absence, look for means to stay connected with them.
In the modern world, where technology is the order of the day, you have many options to connect with your family. For instance, you may plan to have at least a few minutes of FaceTime with your family from your place of deployment.
4. Be open with your family:
Oftentimes, your children may bombard you with questions about why your work is not predictable. Be honest with them and be genuine about what is happening. Make them understand what deployment is and what it means to them and you. Create an environment where your children have a rational understanding when you are away and when you spend just a limited time with them.
If your child is old enough, they may understand the danger of your work. Make them feel safe and confident that you are trained adequately to handle situations you may encounter in your job. Where possible, remind your children how you managed a scenario in the past and safely survived.
5. Be accommodative to your spouse and children’s feeling:
When you get employed, in a far place or for a long time, your children and spouse will feel your gap. Due to your absence, they may express their emotions differently. Please don’t assume they are not logically understanding your situation.
Be patient and kind enough to understand them as a parent or spouse. Surprisingly, you may also suffer emotionally from the lack of physical touch with your family. Those in the military who are patient with their children’s emotional expressions foster positive parenting for military families.
Resources for Getting Support for Positive Parenting for Military Families
1. Military OneSource
This is a resource championed by the Department of Defense in the United States. Military OneSource is meant for military families and military individuals. It is an excellent resource for families with one or both parents in the military.
This resource has 24/7 dedicated support for family life. Feel free to reach out when you have a challenge or an issue related to your military duties and parenting.
2. The Military Family Research Institute
You may want to learn from research about positive parenting for military families. The Military Family Research Institute publishes research on case studies on positive parenting for military families. You can learn from these case studies and devise a probable solution to your challenges.
Above are just some resources for positive parents for military families. Additionally, you can learn how to approach positive parenting by learning from your colleagues in the military. These can share relatable insights into your positive parenting for military family’s needs.