Military families today face special challenges. The “deployed parent” often feels left out and guilty for being unable to be involved in their kids’ lives. The pressures faced by the parent at home –parenting as a single parent- often lead to depression, substance abuse and other personal issues. When the military parent returns home, different parenting styles, rules and patterns of behavior may have evolved and people need to renegotiate their expectations, talk about discipline and how to be consistent in their roles with their kids.
Everyone feels honored by the service men and women defending our country, but do we expect them to come back with no scars and/or problems that manifest in their marriages and with their kids? Military moms and dads tell me that they are worried if they tell anyone what’s really going on with them it will affect their opportunities for promotion or cause their commander or colleagues to treat them differently. If Asking for Help is a Sign of Strength®, then the National Parent Helpline® is an important resource for military parents and their family members involved in raising kids.
Letting out your feelings makes everyone feel better and it’s an important start. Stress drags us all down and when we as parents don’t take care of ourselves we can’t support our kids or loved ones. Don’t just encourage others to act—call the Helpline at 855-4A PARENT yourself and vent, cry, shout, run ideas by someone, or just get someone to listen—then post your feedback on our website or Facebook and tell 10 friends what you got out of it!