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Advice on helping a 3 year old cope with a deployment.

Posted by on Mar. 25, 2009 at 5:38 PM
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This is our 2nd deployment. When he left for his first our DD was only 8 months old so she didnt really "get" it. Well she is 3 now and a total daddy's girl. Since he left she has been completely different. She acts out, she been mean to her little brother, smart with me, doesnt listen, all of this is completely out of character for her. I have tried everything I know to do. I have tried explaining where daddy is. She gets that hes on the big ship but doesnt seem to understand why I cant just go get him. She has a pic of him she carries every where, she talks about him all the time. Always wants to look at pics of him on the computer. He tries to call when she's awake but its hard because of the time difference and the shift he works. I thought this would pass because he has been gone alot over the last year, she used to him not being here for a month or so at a time. But it seems to be getting worse. I feel helpless because I know she's hurting and it seems like everything I try makes it worse. Any suggestions?

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by on Mar. 25, 2009 at 5:38 PM
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YoungMarineWife
by New Member on Mar. 26, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Hi. I am a Marine wife and have gone through 3 deployments only 2 well kinda of 2 I was pregnant and gave birth while he was gone during #2. But anyway. My daughter has never understood what any deployment meant. Our son hasn't been without him for more then a week, and our daughter now is 2 and half and doesn't know where he was when she was younger and we kinda plan to keep it that way.

Anyway, I did a TON of research for when and IF he gets called back to Iraq. There are TONS to do with your  3 year old. I don't know where abouts you are, or what you are around but here are a few ideas

1) make a paper chain, on each strip of paper write down something fun you get to do with Daddy when he gets home, every day of the deployment that goes by rip one off and put it into a safe box for daddy when he gets home. Hang the chain where she can see it the most, living room or even her room.

2) you said your husband was on a ship and I don't know if you guys have access to mail or not, but if you do, and your husband has a digital camera or video camera that can hold a memory card send him one and have him read to her, or say a special message just for her. Then have him send the memory card back and let her watch it over and over. Also she can make a special message from just her to him and send that to him.

3) Take a note book or sketch book and let her draw a picture of what she did that day, or how she is feeling and keep it for daddy when he gets home to look at.

4) I don't know if you have access to webcams or if he has time he can talk to her but set up a special time they can talk to eachother with out you.

5) have him send pictures he drew of what he did that day or was feeling and send it to her, so she feels special.

6) I also hear there is a video out of Elmo talking about deployments, google it.

I know deployments are hard, I'm not sure how I will handle it if I need to with 2 young ones like you. But I can find you some websites that might be helpful too.

 

 

AProudUSMCWife
by Member on Mar. 28, 2009 at 11:29 PM

Check out Military One Source...tons of information that will help like them Elmo video

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