Why are my parents fighting when dad leaves in 2 weeks!

This is my dad's third deployment but there's this one thing I still don't get. The closer it gets to his leaving, the more we all fight at home — especially my mom and dad. It's crazy! My friend talks about how her family does all sorts of stuff together and has lots of fun before her dad leaves, but not at my house. Well, we do some fun stuff but mostly everyone argues about every little thing.

I'd been thinking about why my parents always fight before my dad leaves. Then last month we were assigned this math project about surveys and statistics, and I figured this was my chance. Since we had to come up with our own topic and I go to school on an Army post, I decided to find out how other kids' families act before their parent deploys. Here was my survey question: Do your parents argue "a lot more", "more", "about the same", "less" or "a lot less" in the weeks before your parent leaves for deployment? I was surprised at what I found out. Lots of kids said their parents argue "a lot more" or "more" than normal. Kids even told me they worried their parents were going to get a divorce!

It's funny, but you know that friend I told you about earlier? She checked the "parents argue more" box. I asked her about it later, and she said the arguing doesn't really mean anything so she doesn't worry about it. "What do you mean," I asked her. "All that yelling does too mean something - it means everyone's mad!" "Nah," she said, "The fussing and arguing is REALLY everyone saying they're worried and sort of scared — it's just easier to yell."

Helpful Tips: 
  • It IS easier to yell. Remind yourself that your parents are worried and stressed about the deployment and all the fussing is probably just their way of dealing with those emotions.
  • Stay out of it. Even if your parents are fighting about you, stay out of it until they want to talk to you directly.

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