You’ve just been told that your spouse is leaving for a nine-month deployment, your first deployment with children. Your mind goes in a million different directions, and you’ve now been sitting at your computer for hours researching all the best books, toys, and resources available to help you and your children survive the next nine months.
We think every parent needs support, and we’re here to help! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite items that have helped us get through many trips, deployments, and training exercises.
Sgt. Sleeptight Bear by ZZZbears
Sgt. Sleeptight is a stuffed bear designed to give your children the security they need to fall asleep in their own rooms, even when a certain parent isn’t home to tuck them in. Sgt. Sleeptight comes with a door hanger that tells everyone, before entering, that their rooms are protected by Sgt. Sleeptight, giving your children the extra security they need to fall asleep with no fear in the world!
Sgt. Sleeptight comes in different military uniforms to match your branch and is super soft — perfect for cuddling. Our Daily Mom Military product reviewers (a.k.a. our children) all give this super-cute Sgt. an A-plus.
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
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WORDS by Elle Grey Stories
When children go through a lot of change in a small amount of time, they tend to act out in emotion, and sometimes those emotions are directed at the ones they love the most —mom, dad, and siblings. Although this is very common and to be expected when a parent leaves for an extended amount of time, it’s still very important to explain these emotions to your children.
Elle Grey, the author behind Elle Grey Stories, has written a collection of 39 books. Her first published story, WORDS, explains to little hearts and minds that the words we use can hurt others if we choose to use the ones that aren’t nice, but we always have a choice.
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
Caribu is designed to bring families who are miles apart closer together with the help of technology. Caribu allows parents who are deployed (or just away from home for a bit) the opportunity to read a story to their children every night as if they were home.
The best feature about this app is that it is free as long as your service member is active duty.
Creative Care Packages
Children love projects; deployed service members love care packages. Plug your child’s creative side into a care package that helps them feel connected to their deployed parent. Need some inspiration? Check out Creative Care Packages on Instagram for hundreds of images of creative care packages. Need the help of a #carepackage enthusiast? Rachel McQuiston runs the blog Countdowns and Cupcakes, and she has tons of inspiration on both her Instagram and her blog.
Countdown ’til Daddy Comes Home by Kristin Ayyar
If your spouse is deploying and you need a story that helps your child stay connected, look no further. This is the story you need! This story explains what’s going on at a level that any child can understand with a cute perspective on time.
You want to do all you can to simplify and sugarcoat a deployment with children. The team at Daily Mom Military hopes these tools will make separation a lot easier on you and your children. If you’ve found a product that you love that we haven’t listed above, please comment below and let us know!
Photo Credits: Brittany McAnally