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Preparing Yourself and Your Children for the Deployed Parent's Return

The reunion of your family is a good time, but there are often many adjustments that everyone needs to make. Read through this list of things as you prepare for the reunion. What can you do to help you and your children adjust during this time?

  • Being excited but also worried about the deployed parent's return home is natural and okay.
  • Your children may have the same confusing feelings you do (worry, fear, happiness, and excitement).
  • The actual reunion with your family may not match what you've dreamed. Be realistic about what to expect.
  • Everyone in your family has grown and changed while the deployed parent has been gone. Remember to be flexible.
  • Things will never be exactly the same as they were before the deployed parent left.
  • It will take time and patience to readjust to being together again.
  • Change is stressful for children as well as adults.
  • Young children change so rapidly that a deployed parent may be surprised at how much a child has changed or how different family life has become.
  • If the deployed parent is returning with a life-altering injury that occurred during the deployment, your family may need to make major role changes.
  • Sharing your feelings about the deployed parent's return with your family and others will help.


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