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Tips for parents to help children and teens with deployment: Week 3

published: 03-19-2012 Journal entry icon

This week we offer some practical strategies to help you to keep the lines of communication open with your teens about deployment and post-deployment reintegration.

Week #3 tips: Maintain open communication with your teenager.

  • The most important strategy to use especially with teens is to maintain open communication about concerns, emotions, and questions.
  • Encourage your teens and children to speak out about their thoughts and feelings to their loved ones. It not only helps manage their emotions, but it also helps foster closer family relationships.
  • Stay close to your teen or child while you are deployed using the technology they love: smartphones, Twitter, Facebook, email, etc.
  • Reinforce your teenager’s growing autonomy while you rebuild and maintain your relationship in new and flexible ways. Let your teen choose how much he or she wants to stay in touch; take a hint from how—and how often—they respond to you reaching out.
  • You also can encourage your teens and children to create a “scrapbook” of videos, pictures, stories, and relevant events that took place while their parent was deployed so experiences can be shared during and after deployment.