help for 3 yr old with deployed daddy — The Bump
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help for 3 yr old with deployed daddy

I think after a few months it's finally settling in for ds that daddy is gone for a long time.

He has been acting out a lot in the last two weeks and in that time, all he talks about is dh. "is daddy there?, can we drive to daddy today?  "is daddy flying home today?"

he is just so confused. I show him on the globe where daddy is, and we send lots of packages, draw pictures for daddy and see him on the webcame twice a week.

I'm looking for some ideas to help him understand that he's gone for a while and not coming right home?

I'm wondering if one of those daddy dolls would work? He just turned 3 so he's still on the young side of 3 so I'm not sure what he would grasp.

dh recorded a book for him, and sent a video of him reading a book but I think ds gets tired of those.

any suggestions?

Thank's yall!

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Re: help for 3 yr old with deployed daddy

  • What about making a paper chain a ring or each day, you can write an activity to do like "color a picture for Daddy's Box" and emaplain when the last ring is gone its time for Daddy to come home. It would give a physical way of seeing teh time left, I know another Marine wife who does it and it really helps her kids 6,4,2.

     For us, my son isn't quite 2 and we have a 3 week old, Daddy's been gone almost 3 months and we still have issues with acting out and him looking for Daddy, I just remind him Daddy is away and we watch the videos we made of them or look at photos.

    Wish you all the best - This is the first deployment with kids and it is by far the worse because of their pain. When ever we go on base or anything reminds my son of Daddy its heartbreaking.

    Megan S. Proud Marine Wife and Mommy of 2 Little Boys Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Daddy's Little NICU Peanut Finally Home =D Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • It is a blessing and a curse that little ones between 2 and 5 really don't grasp "time".  It is a blessing because when daddy gets home, it will be like he never really left.  They wont be thinking "woah that was a long time" the way we do as adults.  But it also means that every day they have hope that daddy will be home.  Because when you say "6 more months" they don't grasp that that is a long way away.

    You could try one of the paper chains, but I think that is a little advanced for 3.  I have a daddy doll for my 2 year old and she loves it.  She isn't "attached" to it the way some kids are, but she knows it is a picture of her daddy and loves to hug it. 

    You are doing everything right.  Keep telling him what you have been telling him, be patient, show him lots of pictures, keep showing him the video and reading him the book, have your DH send more if he can.  There will be good weeks and bad weeks.  My DD has moments where she gets frustrated with daddy being gone too.  We just talk about it and get through it.

    Hang in there!

    Married 6/28/03

    Kate ~ 7/3/09 *** Connor ~ 11/11/10

    4 miscarriages: 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014

    *~*~*~*~*

    No more TTC for us. We are done, and at peace, as a family of 4.

    "Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” — Charles Dickens

     

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  • There are books geared for that age that explain deployment and I have seen Seasame Street type videos that are explain deployment. Do you have either? Your FRG probably has these resources for free.
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  • DS is 21 months old and has a daddy doll! He loves the thing, he has to have it everyday when he goes to bed. 

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  • Don't do a chain where you take pieces off every day.  It sucks to have to explain why you are adding more links to the chain or answer why the chain looks longer.  You could do one where you add a link for every day daddy is gone.  Have him draw a picture on the link of his favorite thing that he did that day. 

    We do a daddy wall.  I have a large wall in my dining room.  When H is gone, the kids tape pictures, drawings and other things they want daddy to see to the wall.  By the time he comes home, it is usually covered. 

    Plan plenty of things for y'all to do.  I always plan one thing a week for them to look forward to and one big thing per month.  Our one thing a week may be a trip to the library or a special dinner with friends.  Our one thing per month may be a trip to the zoo or a visit with family who live a few hours away.  We mark it on the calendar and count down the days until those activities.  It gives them something else to focus on look forward to. 

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  • Thanks everyone!!!

    question about the daddy doll- does it have to be a pic in their uniform?

    I cant find one...I know I have a million but they might be on the desktop that's in our storage.

    Can it be any picture of daddy? The only ones I've seen are a standing up in full uniform pics.

    anyone want to share theirs?

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  • We did the daddy doll and it changed everything, he talks to the doll and gives it all sorts of love. They can do any full length picture(they edit out the background but you might call them and ask if they can put him in a uniform ect.) We picked to do it in uniform because that's what daddy looked like when we said goodbye and when we will see him again.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
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