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How to be There for Your Military Child

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  • How to be There for Your Military Child

How can you be fully there for somebody who is an active duty member of the US military? Well, you can send them messages on Facebook.

Now, it may seem pretty straightforward, it might even seem downright common and banal, but you’d be surprised as to how important a status message is. You’d be surprised as to the reach and power and the emotional effect a simple “like” can bring to the table.

You have to remember that if your child is in the military, and regardless of where they are stationed, at some level or another, they will feel homesick. At some level or another, they would always refer back to their childhood and the certainties their childhood contained.

In such situations, it’s very easy to get thrown off track. It’s very easy to feel disoriented on many different levels. Whether we’re talking about mentally, emotionally, spiritually, all sorts of things can get knocked loose. And I’m not necessarily talking about mental or emotional disturbance.

Just by simply being separated and feeling a tremendous weight because of their military duties and responsibilities, you have to be there for your child. They’re going through a lot.

On the surface it may seem like everything’s going smoothly. In fact, if they have an MOS that involves shuffling papers or some sort of clerical or administrative work, you might think that they’re okay. But they’re not okay.

You have to remember that the big difference between people who go crazy and people who remain “normal” is one bad day. That’s why it doesn’t make sense to judge. It doesn’t make sense to put on airs or command a moral high ground because hey, let’s face it, given the wrong set of challenges at the wrong time, anybody can have such a bad day that they can have a breakdown at any different level. A little bit of empathy can go a long way.

So how do you become “available” for your military child? You can do it through social media. You can do it through the phone. Whatever way you do it, remain connected.

You don’t have to say a lot. Maybe your relationship wasn’t all that great to begin with, but by simply letting them know that you’re always there and that they are always top of mind for you, you get the message across.

Now, the message may be resisted. It may be thwarted. In many cases, it might even be completely ignored. But it doesn’t matter because the person doing the loving is the person feeling the love. Always remember that.

If your love is real, then you can continue to give and give and give. Real love is self-sustaining. It is not derived from circumstances. This is not a popular view. A lot of people think that things like joy can only come about if things are going well and everything is in the right place. Well, there is no right place and right time. You have to step in and make it happen. You have to be proactive.