An Example to Follow: Military Fathers, Parenting, and Deployment

By: Jason M. Jowers

Dads 101 photo
US Air Force [Overwhelmed? ‘Dads 101’ offers pointers for new fathers by Staff Sgt. Zachary Wolf, Oct. 19, 2011, CC0]
Military families have their own unique set of challenges that they face. One of those common challenges is deployment and what that means for the parent being deployed and the family as a whole. With Father’s Day coming up, I wanted to highlight some resources I found and some things to remember that might help while dad is away on deployment.

 

One article[1] I found from Military One Source gives ideas and suggestions for new fathers during deployment and how to deal with the stress of both. Some suggestions include:

  • Creating a plan with your partner on getting to and from the hospital and arranging assistance for the weeks after the birth.
  • Take parenting or birthing classes together. There are tons of online resources like this one from Baby Center. [2].
  • Taking care of finances before leaving for deployment, including setting up power of attorney, and any car or home repairs

There can also be parenting training on base for deployed dads that are usually provided by an extension of a Family Advocacy office. This [3] article in particular highlights one such “Dads 101” class at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina. To know more about the Family Advocacy Program and their New Parent Support Program, click here [4].

Finally, for research on the struggles that military children face due to having a deployed dad, I suggest this quick article[5] from The National Fatherhood Initiative. It offers the top five risks that young children in military families may face.

References

[1] Military OneSource. (2018). Becoming an New Father While You’re Deployed. Retrieved from: https://www.militaryonesource.mil/family-relationships/parenting-and-children/parenting-through-deployment/becoming-a-new-father-while-you-re-deployed?inheritRedirect=true&redirect=%2Fparenting-and-children

 

[2] Murray, L. (2019). Baby Center Childbirth Class Videos. Retrieved from: https://www.babycenter.com/childbirth-class

 

[3] Reaves, K. (2018). Dad’s 101 Preps Men for Fatherhood. Retrieved from: https://www.shaw.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1494731/dads-101-preps-men-for-fatherhood/

 

[4] Military OneSource. (2019). The New Parent Support Program. Retrieved from: https://www.militaryonesource.mil/family-relationships/parenting-and-children/parenting-infants-and-toddlers/the-new-parent-support-program

 

[5] The National Fatherhood Initiative (2014). Deployed Dads: The Risks Facing Military Children and how You Can Help. Retrieved from: https://www.fatherhood.org/fatherhood/deployed-dads

 

This post was written by members of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Learn more about us at https://militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/family-development, and connect with us on Facebook, and on Twitter.  Subscribe to our Anchored. podcast series on iTunes and via our podcast page.

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