Next week the Ayyar family will mark having completed 25% of Balan’s deployment and we are not only surviving we are thriving.! Don’t get me wrong, my son Vasan’s hospitalization really tested us early in the deployment but we are stronger spiritually because of it. Was preparation the key? I say, absolutely yes! Balan and I were very up front and honest about what could test our family during our year without him. We talked about expectations, challenges that could arise and that I my not be mother of the year all the time. Having your best friend half a world away is trying and effects you in many ways. During my Mom and Sister’s visit during Christmas break we decided that my book Countdown ’til Daddy Comes home should have a list of questions to prompt parents to discuss certain issues with their children. Our family discussed most of these issues prior to our deployment and I think it has made the transition to our new normal easier. Here is the list of questions that I am planning on having in the back of the book. Have I missed anything? Please give me your suggestions. I only get one chance to make this book really make a difference for military and frequent business travel families.
Questions to discuss with your child prior to goodbye
Do you want to do anything special to say goodbye to Daddy?What will you miss most about not having Daddy home?
Is there someone else that can do them?
Are you ever mad at Daddy for going away?
Do you know where Daddy is going and when he’ll be back?
How can we help you stay connected to Daddy while he is gone?
How should we countdown the days ‘til Daddy comes home?
How should we break up the time so the countdown goes faster?
How do you think we are going to be able to communicate with Daddy?
How often do you think we think we are going to be able to communicate with Daddy?
Where do you want to keep the special things you want to show Daddy when he gets home?
What kind of Daddy comfort item do you want to get? (Daddy bear or pillow case with picture on it, etc.)
If we send Daddy a care package, what should we put in it?
Who should we call if Mommy can’t fix something herself?
What can you do to help get ready for Daddy’s arrival?
What should we cook for Daddy when he gets home?
What do you want to do for your Daddy-son or Daddy-daughter time?
Please visit http://www.daddycountdown.com for more ideas on how to help your children cope with a separation from a parent.