How can I help my younger children deal with their
older brother's deployment?
When your son or daughter goes to war, your other children are
affected, too. When parents are so busy dealing with their own
concerns, it's easy to overlook the worries that siblings might
That's why it's important to include all family members
in the process of preparing for separation. Siblings have a need to
say goodbye, too, each in their own way. They also need to know
that even though they might not see their brother or sister for a
while, there are ways to keep in touch and think of each other.
Encourage your kids to verbalize their concerns and questions so
you'll know where answers and reassurance are needed. Talk
about how you'll help each other through this difficult
Remember that kids can sense your stress and anxiety even if you
don't talk about it. It's far better to let them know that
they're not alone in their worries. By sharing your feelings,
you can help them feel comfortable talking about theirs as
For more information, check out these articles:
When a Parent Goes to War
For Teens: When Loved Ones Go to War
For Kids: Worrying About War
W. Douglas Tynan, PhD, and D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: April 2008
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