Military Family Friday – Changing Roles after Deployment + Acing Your Performance Review

jacke with medals

Photo credit: Daniel Bendjy/Getty Images

Photo credit: Daniel Bendjy/Getty Images

When mom or dad comes home from a deployment, everything changes. In some cases, families adapt to their role reassignment relatively easily, while for others it can be a little—or a lot—more challenging. Depending on the couple and family dynamic when the soldier deployed, a number of issues may come up when you or a loved one returns. Striking a balance, avoiding power struggles, and learning how to relinquish some of the responsibility can be quite difficult on the military spouse, regardless of gender.
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jacke with medals

Photo credit: Brad Wilson/Getty Images

Each service has its own system for assessing which servicemembers deserve to be promoted and remain in the service. Those who score below average could potentially be involuntarily separated.
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Bumps and Bruises are Normal

Infant Karenni Boy by joeymarasek/via Flickr

Infant Karenni Boy by joeymarasek/via Flickr

Infant Karenni Boy by joeymarasek/via Flickr

Dear Mr. Dad: I’ve got a six-month-old son who doesn’t sleep very well. As part of my calming-him-down-in-the-middle-of-the-night routine, I walk around the house rocking him. A few nights ago, I lay down on the couch with him on my chest. He fell asleep and I didn’t want to wake him by standing up so I fell asleep too. Maybe an hour later I was jolted awake by a thump and crying and I realized that my baby had rolled off of me and had landed on the floor. I picked him up right away and he stopped crying after about 10 minutes. I called our doctor and the advice nurse asked me a bunch of questions and decided that there was no need to come in. That was reassuring and my son is his usual cheerful self. But I still feel like I’ve failed as a dad for being so careless in the first place. Do you think I’ve done any permanent damage to my child?

A: If your doctor didn’t have you come into the office and your son is behaving normally, chances are very slim that he’ll have any long-term effects. I can’t say the same about you. If you were to ask everyone you know who has children whether they’ve ever hand a similar experience, you’ll hear dozens of stories about falls, head-bumps, black eyes, stitches, and broken bones. Babies fall a lot and bumps and bruises are normal. So try to stop torturing yourself. You’re not a bad father—just a human one who’ll be a lot more careful in the future.

That said, I understand your residual fear. When my oldest daughter was about your son’s age, I walked through a doorway with her riding on my shoulders and she smacked her head on the top of the door frame. Our pediatrician reassured me that everything was okay. That didn’t quite do it for me, though. In fact, it wasn’t until she got an A on her AP calculus final that I finally stopped worrying that I’d caused brain damage.
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Solving Your Child’s Allergies, Asthma, Food Sensitivities, and Related Problems

Robert Sears, coauthor of The Allergy Book.
Topic:
Solving your child’s allergies, asthma, food sensitivities, and related problems.
Issues: Allergy testing; nasal allergies and the asthma connection; wheat and gluten sensitivity; the importance of probiotics in a healthy immune system; preventing allergies before they happen.

Breaking the Cycle of Addiction + The Allergy Book

Lisa Sue Woititz, coauthor of Unwelcome Inheritance.
Topic:
Break your family’s cycle of addictive behavior.
Issues: How alcoholism and addiction affect the whole person; characteristics of adult children of addicts; codependency and addictive thinking; learning from your family history; breaking the cycle of addiction; breaking the cycle of anger and resentment.

Robert Sears, coauthor of The Allergy Book.
Topic:
Solving your child’s allergies, asthma, food sensitivities, and related problems.
Issues: Allergy testing; nasal allergies and the asthma connection; wheat and gluten sensitivity; the importance of probiotics in a healthy immune system; preventing allergies before they happen.

Is It Summer or Not?

In some parts of the country, summer can’t seem to decide whether it’s actually here or not. Hot, cold, hot, cold. Here are some great ways to spend time whether you’re outside or in.

please and carrotsPlease and Carrots
Please and Carrots is a subscription service that quarterly or monthly delivers a box of cool toys and books specially selected for your baby (ages 0-36 months) by child psychologist Dr. Susan Bartell based on their development stage. There’s also an online portal where you can find more info on child development, milestones, and age-appropriate activities to do with your baby. Everything on the portal is approved by an advisory board packed with pediatricians, psychologist, nutritionists, and other experts. If your kids are already out of the baby stage, this makes a great baby-shower gift. Prices vary. https://pleaseandcarrots.com/

cloud b frankie the foxFrankie the Fox (Cloud b)
So, what does the fox say? This one doesn’t say a thing, thankfully. But he’ll help your little one drift off to sleep. Frankie is one of the latest from Cloud B, maker of delightful bedtime buddies. He’s super soft and snuggly, part stuffed animal, part soothing sound machine, but 100% calming, routine keeping, and rest inducing. Frankie loves traveling and with the strap on his back, you can easily secure him to the crib, bed, or carseat/stroller easily. He plays four sleepy-time melodies and has a timer that shuts him off at either 23 (odd choice) or 45 minutes. Requires 2 AA batteries, but they’re included. $31.95. http://cloudb.com/sound/frankie-the-fox

razor delta wingDelta Wing Scooter (Razor)
Let’s face it: some kids who want to ride on scooters don’t always have a great sense of balance. That, in turn, can leave them less-then-completely confident in their ability to ride. Here’s where the Razor Delta Wing comes in. It’s sort of a V-shape and the rider puts one foot on each of the wings and holds on to the handlebars that are on a post that comes out of the apex of the V (it’s easier to see this in the picture to the left). You don’t need to be able to balance, and you move it by wiggling your booty side to side. Yes, you’ll look a bit odd, but it’s a hell of a workout for the legs, thighs, and butt. One of our young testers loved, loved, loved the Delta Wing—more than his bike, his scooter, or his roller skates. The Delta Wing handles well, brakes quickly and easily, and is a smooth ride. Does it get any better than that? Always wear a helmet and other safety gear. $90. Age 6+. http://www.razor.com

razor ground force drifterGround Force Drifter Fury (Razor)
Your kids don’t have a license but they still want the coolest wheels in town? No prob. The Razor Ground Force Drifter Fury is the most awesome go-kart-on-steroids that you’ve ever seen, with speeds up to 12 miles per hour (so don’t forget your helmet). The Fury comes with rechargeable batteries that last up to 40 minutes of continuous use. It also has a flag, spark bar (how cool is that?), and hand operated rear brakes. Once you get the hang of it (which isn’t hard), you’ll be able to do some very cool tricks with the Fury. And by “you,” we actually do mean “you”—but only after you’ve given the kids a turn. There’s supposedly a 140-pound weight limit, but we’ve seen full-grown adults doing just fine. You and your kids will have an incredible amount of fun with this thing. Just make sure your camera or phone is fully charged because the Fury is made to be shared on social media. $350. Ages 8+. http://www.razor.com