For most of us school has begun and the lazy days of summer are over. This also means we are trying to get our kids on a new routine filled with homework, shorter afternoon playtimes and going to bed earlier. If you have a preschooler this can be especially tough to handle as a one woman / man show.
During deployment here are some tips to help you and your preschooler:
Stay in frequent contact. Studies show that children of deployed parents worry their parent no longer loves them. Reassure your preschooler by having your deployed spouse call and write as often as possible. Explain that sometimes they will be out of contact.
To keep your deployed spouse in your child's life, play their favorite music, cook their favorite meals, display their photos, and stop every now and then to look at the "Daddy or Mommy Time" clock and imagine what they're doing. These will all help keep your spouse real - and close - to your child.
Stick to routines as much as possible. Children take comfort in routines and will feel secure if bedtimes, mealtimes, and other important rituals remain unchanged.
Maintain discipline at home. It's tempting to ease up on discipline when one parent is away, but children need limits and boundaries.
On a personal note, when our sons were younger my husband would leave letters behind before he left on deployment since we were never sure if or when there would be a mail drop. I would save them and space them out during the deployment. It worked well and alleviated the stress of waiting for the mail to come and hope there would be a letter from dad.