Good Bye, Again?!?
DEAR DOC: I used to think all deployments are the same. This deployment is actually a lot easier for me compared to the last time my mom left. Why do you think I am doing better this time around? -SURPRISED AND CONFUSED
DEAR SURPRISED AND CONFUSED: It’s great to hear that you are doing better this time around! After you experience a deployment or two, you may discover you’re more comfortable because the process feels familiar. Think about walking into English class at the start of a school year, or going to your first basketball practice. The first day is usually the toughest. After a few days, you catch the rhythm and understand what the teacher or coach wants you to do. You may not always like what you have to do, but knowing what to expect makes life a little easier. You can think about deployments in a similar way. Some kids may worry that if they don’t feel stressed or upset about a new deployment, it means that they don’t care. If that sounds like you, remind yourself that feeling OK about your parent’s absence is not the same as not caring -- it most likely means you feel confident and prepared. Try to stay flexible and expect a surprise or two, because every deployment is different. If things change and you notice you are struggling with this new deployment, remember you are not alone. Try one of the things that helped you last time, focus on positive actions, and don’t forget to reach out to a trusted adult if you need help. -DD