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Getting Back To Family After Military Service


By Jodie Lynn
www.ParentToParent.com



QUESTION:

I am just now getting back into the lives of my children after being away in the army for four years. One was two and the other had not been born. I feel as if I have missed so much and am lost as to where to start in building a solid father relationship. To say I am hesitate to do more than anything than play and have fun with them is quite an understatement. I know my wife has done it all by herself and is ready for me to step up to the plate. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

ANSWER FROM READER:

When I returned home from the service things didn't go as I had hoped for the very same reason. The kids didn't really know what to expect and neither did my husband. He had been their mom and dad for four years. I immediately jumped into the mommy role and it didn't go over too well. Take your time and get to know your children before stepping in and taking charge. Doing it gradually is much easier than rushing into it blindly. It'll all work out in time. - S. E. in Columbia, SC

FROM JODIE:

After being gone for so long, of course your heart is filled with love and affection for your family. It's perfectly normal to simply want to adore and have a good time with the kids in addition to getting reacquainted with your wife. While she is certainly due for a break, patience is most likely going to be the best plan of action here. Perhaps begin with easing into the more serious role of being daddy by taking over some of the smaller child-rearing responsibilities and then slowly building into a more authoritative one each month. Try to keep the daily routines and activities that you are in charge of conformable with what they can expect from you each day. Eventually, they will be capable of discerning between when it is actually playtime and when it is time to listen carefully and follow instructions. Be sure that you offer your wife time off from some of her parenting duties. By giving her a night out with the girls, she will be able to take a mini-break away from the family and have a chance to recharge. Remember, this is a time of adjustment for each member of the family and consistency will prove to be truly helpful.

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CAN YOU HELP?

My 10-year-old son is having trouble in school with just about all of his subjects. He doesn't like to go and it is a struggle each day to get him up and out the door. There's nothing wrong with him physically or emotionally but apparently something is bothering him enough to make school something he greatly dislikes. How can we get him to talk about it or more importantly, what questions can we ask to try to get to the bottom of this situation?

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email direct2contact @parenttoparent.com, or go to www.parenttoparent.com which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including eDiets.com, KeepKidsHealthy.com, ClubMom.com, BabyUniverse.com, CatholicMom.com, MainStreetMom.com and MommiesMagazine.com. Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit www.ParentToParent.com for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.

 

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