Military Kids Suffer During a Parent’s Deployment

kids with deployed parents more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol

Dear Mr. Dad: A few weeks ago, you wrote about how PTSD after deployment affects spouses in addition to servicemembers themselves. You talked a little about how it affects kids too. But what about families where PTSD isn’t an issue? My brother is in the Army and he and his wife are both being deployed in a few weeks. Their two children, a boy age 11 and a girl age 13, will be staying with my husband and me. How do kids do during the actual time when dad or mom is deployment?
[Read more…]

PTSD: Affects Vets’ Spouses Too

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), about 25 percent of vets returning from the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are suffering from PTSD. That’s about 500,000 veterans. If we include family members, that number more than doubles.  Not surprisingly, returning veterans—particularly those with PTSD—have a higher divorce rate than non-veterans. And […]

Very nice profile of me in “Stars and Stripes”

The Military FatherTerri Barnes, who writes the “Spouse Calls” column for Stars and Stripes, just did a very nice profile of me. We talked about my work with dads in general and, more specifically, with military dads. Read on…

Fatherly advice

Published: January 22, 2013

Armin Brott isn’t an active duty Marine anymore, but as a father, veteran, writer and radio personality, he is still fighting the good fight. He said he wages an “ongoing battle” to convince men that fathering is as important as mothering.

“Dads and moms do things differently,” he said. “We have this idea that moms are better, but we’re just different.”

Brott is the author of several parenting books, including “The Military Father,” and is the host of “Positive Parenting” on American Forces Network radio. A shorter version, for civilian audiences, has been on the air for about 17 years. For the past two years, Brott has been producing a second segment for AFN focusing more on military family issues.

As a veteran, Brott sympathizes with active duty fathers and their challenges. Deployment and other extended separations can undermine a military father’s confidence in his role, which makes rejoining his family harder than it already is, Brott said.

“A great part of a man’s identity is feeling loved and needed by his family. If  [men] don’t feel needed and we don’t feel wanted, then what’s the point?” he said. [Read more…]

When Mom and Dad are the Problem + Labeled Kids + Surviving Deployment

[amazon asin=1937134180&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest: 1: Vicki Hoefle, author of Duct Tape Parenting.
Topic: A less-is-more approach to raising respectful, responsible, resilient kids.
Issues: Why helicopter mothers and fathers are bad for kids; why it’s important for moms and dads to sit on their hands and stay on the sidelines so that children can step up, solve their own problems, and develop life-long confidence.

[amazon asin=030739543X&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 2: Barbara Probst, author of When the Labels Don’t Fit/
Topic: A new approach to raising a challenging child.
Issues: Discovering your child’s essential nature and temperament; respecting your child’s inner world; changing the way you think, talk, and respond; knowing when and how to help; taking care of yourself.

[amazon asin=0965748375&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 3: Karen Pavlicin, author of Life After Deployment.
Topic: How military families prepare for, cope with, and survive deployment.
Issues: Types of deployment; emotional and psychological stages of deployment; ways to keep in touch across time and distance; the effects of deployment on the soldier, spouse, and children; keeping reasonable expectations when coming home.

Supporting Military Families + Death-Defying Math

[amazon asin=144245735X&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 1: Jill Biden, author of Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops.
Topic: The Second Lady of the US talks about being the mother of a deployed soldier and the effects of deployment on children.

[amazon asin=0761163743&template=thumbnail1&chan=default]Guest 2: Sean Connolly, author of The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math.
Topic: Death-defying challenges for young mathematicians.
Issues: How to defeat vampires using algebraic equations; destroy and out-of-control asteroid using geometry; escape an enemy spy using ratios and proportions; plus killer tornadoes, deadly spiders, zombies, and more.

Dads in the Military: Supporting a Pregnant Wife

My wife and I are expecting our first child. The problem is that I’m in the US Marine Corps on tour in Iraq. I have been here since the beginning of the pregnancy and I might not be there for the birth of our child. My wife is having a hard time doing this on her own and I feel that there’s nothing I can do to support her. I’m reading your book, The Expectant Father, which I find very helpful. But do you know of any resources that are specifically aimed at military dads and/or their families?

There are over 700,000 children under five in military families who are separated from their father or mother. As a former U.S. Marine myself, my heart goes out to all of them. Here are some great resources you and your wife can use to get the support you need. And because I know many military dads will be reading this column, I’m also including some tips on staying in touch with the kids and maintaining relationships while away. [Read more…]