Post-deployment: Tips for parents

Concerning behaviour

If you are concerned about your son’s or daughter’s behaviour since returning, give them specific examples of areas of your concern. Don’t get into arguments and try to pressure them to seek additional help. Offer to help, but don’t push. State your concerns, then back off.

Become an expert in the area of resources

Your son or daughter may need time to adjust to their life at home and may not be able to tap into available resources and services. They may miss the mates they deployed with and, after a few days at home, may wish to leave and join up with them. Don’t take this personally or as rejection. The fact is, they have been closely bonded together for many months and they wish to revisit their mates to catch up and compare notes.

Opportunities to talk

Give your son or daughter the opportunity to talk about their experiences. Let him or her know you are willing to listen in an empathetic, non-judgemental way. Don’t push, but let them know you are willing to listen. If you have combat experience yourselves or have been involved in any other traumatic incidents, you may discover this is a good opportunity to deepen your connections with your offspring by discussing the issues with them.

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