Last updated on 01/28/09
What can I do to make a loved-one’s deployment easier for my child?
Whether it is a sibling, parent, cousin, or friend, the deployment of another is always hard to deal with. Children with deployed parents might not see them for a year at a time; a year in which the parent may face death daily. In addition to missing their parent, children with deployed parents worry about their wellbeing as they fight in wars.
Although it is not necessary for children to be aware of all of the gory details, there must be open communication between parents and children. Children have many fears and concerns that must be addressed; war is scary for everyone. Kids should be kept updated on what is going on and where their parents are. That way, their imaginations will not have a free reign to run wild and assume the worst.
The return from deployment is an adjustment for everyone in the family, and parents should not hesitate to seek the help of a professional to aid in the transition. Children should be warned of any injury or difference in the individual returning home in order to give them the opportunity to emotionally prepare themselves. The adjustment may take time, but it can certainly be accomplished with patience.
In the Jewish Community
Although it is unusual for children in the American Jewish community to have a parent in the army, all Israeli males who are not in school or studying Torah are required to serve in the army. Many children in the Israeli Jewish community deal with deployment as well as the knowledge that they too will serve in the army when they come of age. Children of all ages may have fears and concerns about war and a loved one’s employment. It is important to address these issues as they come up so children do not feel like they have to bear the burden of worry all by themselves.
Use the following links to educate yourself about dealing with deployment. Learn how to help a child cope with a deployed parent or sibling and find out what to expect from your children.
Frequently Asked Links
How do I tell my child that I am going to be deployed?
How do I help my younger children deal with their older brother’s deployment?
How can I help my kids deal with my husband’s deployment?
What can teens do to cope with having a friend or relative that is deployed?
What is important for kids dealing with a parent’s employment? more
What are some tips for fathers getting ready to be deployed?
How can teachers help children while their parents are deployed?
What can kids do to tame their fears about war?
Why do children of deployed parents need special care?
Are children with deployed parents at risk for behavior problems?
How do I handle the transition when my husband returns from war?
Should I allow my child to join the Nachal Chareidi of the IDF?
By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz
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Stress from things like school and social situations can feel overwhelming for kids, particularly if they do not have healthy strategies to cope with strong feelings and solve everyday problems.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
People who experience a traumatic event can be affected by posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Dealing with PTSD can be challenging, but treatment and support are essential.
Taking Your Child to a Therapist
Kids, like adults, can often benefit from therapy – but there are many important things to consider as you look for the right therapist.
Parenting Resources for the Jewish Community
Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
AACAP offers up-to-date information on child and adolescent development and issues.
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.
American Psychological Association (APA)
The APA provides information and education about a variety of mental health issues for people of all ages.
American Academy of Family Physicians
This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.
Rabbi Horowitz does not endorse any external sites or monitor or approve content on these sites. When considering information presented here, you should consult your experts to determine what is best for you. Our sole purpose is to help you access information that Rabbi Horowitz and others have made available on the internet.