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    You have a 1-Year-Old and endless questions?
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    What to do
    paytonsmommy09 posted:
    As many of you know my husband is deploying very soon. Our daughter is about to turn 14 months and is very much a daddy's girl. She starts yelling for dada when I pick her up from the sitters. Things will be different for her for a few weeks I am sure. How do I console her once DH is gone? Is she old enough to understand? Once she gets used to his being gone how do I re-introduce her to DH? What can I do to assure she remembers him?

    I know most of you are not counselors but some of you have husbands in the military.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    SARAH (31), JASON (DH), PAYTON (7.8.09), 3 FUR CHILDREN
    NicoleCoy01 responded:
    How long will he be gone? I'm so sorry. I know this must be very difficult.
    Me-Nicole (27) Hubby-David (28) Our little beauty Savana (15.5 months born 02-03-09)
    roni090909 responded:
    Can you have him record a video of him reading a book or something? This way she can watch it when she misses him or before bed every night. I would also keep lots of pictures of him around for her to look at. DS loves to look at the pictures of us. I don't think she will really understand that he is gone but she will know he's not around. KWIM. DS is 22 months and he asks for Daddy when he is at work all the time. I tell him Daddy is all gone because that is the only thing that he understands for him just not being around right now. He usually accepts it. I know at 14 months DS would never have understood this, he would just realize that Daddy is missing.

    I think eventually she will get used to it being just you and her. With pictures and a video, she will definitely remember him. GL and my thoughts are definitely with your family.
    Me (30) DH (37) DS 10/20/08 New Baby Girl EDD 11/11
    cheeezie25 responded:
    I know alot of troops often have access to webcams at their bases, so you can teleconference him with your DD (Skype is a good service). That way, they will actually get to see each other and interact, even if it is just through a video screen. If you don't have a webcam, it might not be a bad investment seeing as how he will be away for a while. I feel like I have seen them around for less than $100, but don't quote me on that.
    bcfrost816 replied to roni090909's response:
    I am a counselor :-)

    I'm so sorry, I simply cannot imagine having your husband deployed, you are a very strong and brave woman. My DH is a police officer, he doesn't go away for long periods of time (although sometimes I wish he would, lol), but he is in danger with his job, so I can understand the worry that comes along with deployments as well.

    Your DD will not forget her daddy, there is no way. She will miss him and probably have a hard time understanding, I don't think a 14 month old can understand time like that. She will just know he isn't there. I'd be prepared for some tears and rough nights when she wants her daddy. I love what Roni suggested, have DH made a video of him reading a book and saying goodnight or just talking to her. She can watch that and see daddy, I think that would be great for her.
    Just try and be there for her when she is missing him, give her some extra attention and maybe try and do some special things with her.
    Courtney (28) DH (30) DD Peyton 17 months; baby girl EDD 9/26/10
    magsnemma responded:
    My DH is in the AF and here are some of the things that I've heard:

    • Video chat- He might be able to log on to a base library computer since I know that the commercial (off-base) internet connections can be a bit iffy. Skype and Google chat are good ones. All you need for Google chat are two gmail addresses. We've had good luck with that.
    • Make a photo book of pictures with DD and your DH and all of you. That way you can look at pictures of him together.
    • Hallmark makes books that are audio-based. Your DH can tell the story and then you can "read" the book with her and she'll hear Daddy's voice. They must be easy to use, my parents figured it out. :)
    • Maybe DH can give her a lovey/stuffed animal and you can reinforce that Daddy gave it to her?
    • Check out the Family Support Center on your base/post. They'll have other really good tips and information for you. Plus they'll have info for you as far as Mommy's days out and things like that.
    • Do you guys have a video camera? We have a little Flip video thing and it does short little videos. He could record some stuff before he goes and then take it with him and upload videos for you guys to watch.

    Good luck to your whole family. I know how hard deployments are, my DH is active duty. I really encourage talking to other spouses whose husbands are deployed or have deployed, as well as taking advantage of what the base/post has to offer. Some of their programs are a little cheesy, but there's some good stuff in there too.
    Me (32), DH (32), DD (born Nov 2008)
    ad1978 responded:
    I don't have any additional advice, but I'm thinking of you and your family. It's hard for me as a civilian to imagine this, but I am grateful to families like yours who make this sacrifice.

    I hope that your base (?) will also have some resources and a support system for you.
    earleyml1012 responded:
    I don't have any advice either but I too want to thank both you and your DH for the sacrifice you are making to keep our country safe! I also wanted to share that reading both your post and magsnemma post, I had tears in my eyes. I can't imagine not seeing DH everyday for months/years at a time. Good luck and I really like all the ideas provided.
    sarahann1978 responded:
    I am so sorry, I know you must be really worried about how it will all go. It is a HUGE sacrifice that military families make to say the least.

    I don't have personal advice, but my BFF's husband is in the Marines and he has deployed overseas twice. The first time he was at pre-deployment workups, had one day off so they induced her with their first son, he was there for the birth and then had to leave the very next morning to deploy to Iraq. She had to get herself and baby home from the hospital without him. He was there for I believe 9 months or so, so their son was of course too young to remember that one. Then I'm trying to remember how long it was before he deployed again, but it seems like they got pregnant right away when he returned and he was there for a while when DS2 was born. Then he deployed for 10 months on a ship last year. So anyway, I think their DS1 was maybe around 3 when he deployed the second time and I know it was hard on him. He knew his Daddy was going to be gone, but had no concept of time. BFF kept telling him that Daddy would be home before Christmas, but then DS1 was asking her every morning, starting in the summer time, if today was Christmas yet.

    I could ask her for more advice, but it would probably be mostly what was already given. I do remember that I visited with her right before her DH was going to come home and her MIL was wanting to schedule a trip to be there right when he got home and stay for two weeks. BFF was very unhappy about it because she knew it would take a while for the boys to warm back up to DH and she didn't want a bunch of family there to complicated it and observe if it was not going well. She also of course wanted her own personal time to reconnect with him too :smile:. After he got back they also moved, so it was all crazy from that too, but I know she said it just took time to reincorporate him into the daily routine. She was used to being everything for the boys so it took communication and patience to make sure that he was able to play a parenting role too and that she could step back and share the load again.

    Since your DD is a bit younger hopefully she will not feel that void as much. I know she will miss him, but maybe the time won't seem like an eternity like it would for an older child or adult. I think the videos are an awesome idea for those tender moments when she needs to reconnect. I hope you find a good support group for your sake too, don't forget to take time for yourself, and if you need help be sure to ask for it.
    Sarah (31), DH(29), DS (Jan. 09)
    jlynnpaine responded:
    I am so sorry. I don't have any other advice. I think the video and photo ideas are great. I would just make sure to talk to her about her dad a lot whenever she asks and do the best that you can to reassure her that Daddy loves her. I would make a point to show her pictures and talk about him on a regular basis. If he has access to video chat, that would be a wonderful way for her to connect with him.

    I just wanted to say I'm thinking of you and your family and I appreciate all that you are sacrificing for the rest of us.
    elegi23 responded:
    I know it must be very very hard and I'm so sorry that he is leaving. I think having him recording videos of reading her favorite books, or at least of them playing together would be a great idea, so she can watch them over and over. Or have him record a bed time story and watch one every night before bed.

    I have a coworker who's son was deployed and his DS is a week younger than my DD, and they are able to video skype back and forth and his DS gets excited b/c its a routine and every night at the same time they skype back and forth. So he "knows" what time is Daddy time, and around that time he goes and sits in front of the computer, waiting for his Daddy. I don't know if your DH will be able to Skype every night though. I know this guy has to pay for an hour of internet time every night, but he loves talking to his family and his DS hasn't the slightest forgot who his Dad is. He has a picture book that was made for him of pics of him and his Dad together ( I think they made it through snapfish and its a hard book and he carries it everywhere.)
    Me (22), DH(29) DD Eleora Marylin 07/23/09
    mynameiswhatiam responded:
    People have sent many helpful hints your way. I would want to add that you must remember that children grieve and the grief work is just as hard, if not harder for them. Children cannot process why daddy is not home. They may hear the answers that we give but their emotions will still be offended. Your 14 month old daughter is going to suffer her first feelings of great loss. You must be the understanding adult and work through all of her grief points, however she expresses them. Your daughter's grief will come out in some way and it will behoove you to be able to recognize the reasons behind some of her anger that may come out towards you, or her sadness that may come out in not wanting to eat or sleep at the times that you want her to. On one hand you have to validate her feelings, on the other you must teach her that this is something her Mom is capable of leading her through and you will have to keep her under your loving, watchful, authority.

    Pat answers don't heal the wounds or disappointments of small children. Children must be lead out of suffering and loss by understanding parents.
    bellesbark responded:
    Hey Sarah,

    First, I think it's great that you are already trying to find answers for a situation that most likely be difficult for your children. One thing I would definately NOT do is tell her a fib to help with possible negative/sad feelings. Something like daddy is working away from home. Kids remember things even at such a young age. Perhaps your husband can make some videos, voicemails for certain times of the year. If daddy won't be at a place where you can have live calls maybe some messages regarding certain things in the year, (e.g. holidays, birthdays, etc.) and some to be able to play at times for reassurance. Take some pictures and as I suggested some videos. But I again would not say Daddy will be back soon. Unfortunately, that isn't in your control. Believe me the 'lil ones will remember that statement. Bless you both, mom and dad and good luck. Oh, and I am a children's counselor if that might make you feel a bit better about receiving my feedback. :)

    bellesbark responded:

    It's me again and I forgot to mention something in my last post. Every one has their thoughts on how to handle things. Regarding your 'lil one........just meet her where she is. Let her be a kid. Recognize any feelings she may express as I'm sure you would do on any day even when daddy is home. Just normalize as much as possible. Try not to change house rules etc. as you don't want to bring more attention to things that are different in the home. Again, good luck!


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