7 Essential Tips toward Positive Parenting for Military Families
Being a parent in normal family setups is already stressful beyond imagining. Besides taking care of everything in the household, you have to check up on your kids from time to time. Well, raising kids is never easy. It comes with a ton of parenting.
It’s even more challenging if you’re a parent in a military family. When you’re a spouse of a military personnel, it’s expected that you have to do the parenting alone more often. Yes! Because you will never know when your husband or wife will return after getting deployed.
This could make you feel restless and leave you sobbing to sleep. The pressure to work twice as hard for your kids is no joke. You don’t want them to feel that the family is incomplete and that they’re different from other kids. But you can only do that if you step up your parenting the right way.
Now, if you think you need a boost to your parenting style but don’t know what else to do, let’s help you with that! In this article, we listed 7 most essential tips to achieve positive parenting for military families. Check them out!
Sometimes, being in a military family can create distance between family members, especially between the parents and the kids. When you’re juggling your work, household chores, and your kids, you sometimes forget to let them know that you love them. More often than not, it could slowly make them drift apart and feel out of place in the family.
You see, some kids are really emotional and sentimental when it comes to their parent’s absence in their life. If your military spouse is not there and you’re busy, they’d feel that you love other things more than you love them.
Kids won’t readily understand the burden of your responsibility as a parent, and that you have to work extra hard for them. They’d just think you’ve neglected them if you’re there all the time.
So, if you can’t spend time with them to make them feel loved, you have to reinforce it by verbalizing your love for them. Whenever you go to work or become busy for a while, say “I love you” to them. Words of affirmation are powerful. You may also ask your kids if they need anything before you do something else. That will give them reassurance that you still have love and care for them.
Tip 2: Spend Quality Time with Your Kids More
But if you have time to be with your kids, do it more often. This is especially important if your kids are still in the childhood stage. They usually feel a sense of validation when their parents are spending time with them while they play toys and games. So, try playing with them for an extended period of time or set a specific day, be it on weekdays or weekends, to play with them with your full attention.
And if your kids are a bit older, you can set up a movie night where you can watch the latest films or go on a vacation if you can. Just make sure that you take into consideration the activities that your kids want to do.
Reminder: When you spend quality time with your kids, make sure to put down your phone and just enjoy the time with them.
Tip 3: Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
As mentioned, parenting in a military family can be pretty stressful and draining for you. It can make you question your capability as a parent. But don’t be so hard on yourself. Parenting is not all about your kids’ well being, it’s also about yours. You have to take care of yourself, especially that you are doing all the parenting alone.
If you need to cool off or take a break from work and all the chores, do it. You see, the last thing your children want to see is their parents tired, beaten, and sad. Take your time to enjoy the things you love to do as well. It will help you lighten up your mood and make your parenting positive for your kids.
And if you are really tired, but you need to finish some housework, you may ask your kids if they can help you out. It’s also a good way to spend time together. Not only is it going to make things faster and easier for you, it can also help them learn how to do the chores properly and become more responsible. To encourage your kids, you may give them rewards whenever they complete their assigned tasks, regardless of quality.
Apart from enjoying your leisure time, you may also take care of yourself by exercising regularly and eating healthy food. You have to be in the best shape as much as possible to avoid getting sick and whatnot.
Tip 4: Let Kids Communicate with Their Military Dad/Mom
You may be there to attend to all your kids’ needs, but that doesn’t mean they’re not gonna miss their military dad/mom. Your military spouse being away from home poses challenges not only to you but to your kids, too. There may be times when they cry themselves to sleep, worrying if their military dad/mom is okay, especially true during wartime.
So, do your best to find time and a way for your kids to communicate with their military parents. You may do it by allowing them to send customized letters, video-chatting, call via phone, or even chat through texts and Social Media.
If your military husband or wife is allowed to take visitors to the camp, take that chance and bring your kids with you. Physical interactions with their military parents can surely help them cope with the longing they feel.
Tip 5: Take Advantage of Military Family Benefits
Marrying a military personnel comes with many benefits, especially when you have kids. This depends on your country, though, but one way or another there are certain advantages that you must avail for you and your kids. Some military family benefits are scholarships, access to health services both medical and mental, allowances and stipends, food packs, and more.
These privileges can really help even the scales. You don’t need to work harder to send your kid to a prestigious school as you can avail certain scholarship programs. And if the unfortunate happens that you or your kids happen to get hospitalized, you won’t have to worry with the bills, too.
So, make sure that you don’t miss out any perks for military families. They can give you more time in your schedule to help you focus on taking care of your kids.
Tip 6: Welcome Your Kids’ Problems
Having an open communication with your kids is very important to ensure that they’re okay. And you can do this by being less judgmental and aggressive whenever they come to you for help or advice.
You see, you’re the only parent they can rely on. It’s your name they call when they’re scared, hurt, etc. You have to learn to listen to their complaints and whatever they have to say. That’s when you foster openness and respect with your kids.
This is important because you wound’t want your kids hiding issues that involve bullying online or at school, violence against children, sexual assault, pedophilia, and many more. You need your kids to be honest all the time so you can help them address their problems ASAP.
Tip 7: Be Supportive of Your Kids’ Dreams and Passions
When your kids have hobbies or aspirations they’d like to pursue, show your full support. You can provide them things that they need to fulfill those. For example, if your kids want to play basketball, buy them shoes, basketballs, jersey shirts, and more. You can even erect a mini basketball court in the backyard if you can afford it.
Another way to support your kids is when there are activities at school that involve parents. Yes! Events like theater plays, competitions, family days, and more that your child is participating in. Make sure that you always arrive in time to cheer them on and boost their morale.
Remember that a parent’s presence and support can greatly help kids build more confidence and feel validated.
If you find yourself in a mess trying to keep your children and the family together after your military spouse went to duty, jstart with these 7 most essential tips toward positive parenting. They can help you get up on your footing and deal with your military family more effectively. Just know that these tips are just a guide for you to follow. You can add more or modify them depending on your situation at home.
Is it necessary to be strict as a military dad?Alex Torres2022-09-26T09:07:53+00:00
It depends on your situation at home. However, it’s not necessary to introduce a militaristic, strict style of parenting. You can be a military man when on duty and a normal dad when at home with your kids. But sometimes, employing an adequate amount of strictness and discipline in the house so your kids learn to control themselves and not cause any trouble in the future.
Is military family syndrome real?Alex Torres2022-09-26T09:06:41+00:00
Yes, it’s real. It was first used in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. It refers to the psychological and behavioral issues that occur with the kids of those who are deployed in the military. It’s also used to refer to the effects or changes in the relationship between the children and the remaining parent.