April is Month of the Military Child. More and more military families are finding that attachment parenting principles are making a positive difference in the lives of kids who are often separated from parents for long periods of time.
The life of a military child is hard. Children are often separated from their service member parent (or parents) for months or longer. That’s why a lot of families are turning to attachment parenting principles.
Here are some ways attachment parenting helps military kids thrive:
1. Babywearing leaves hands free.
Most often, when dad is deployed, mama is left on the homefront. In this day and age, more dads are being left behind as moms head off to duty, but regardless of what parent is left to keep things running while the service member is gone, babywearing gives the parent an extra hand. All the emotional and physical benefits to baby aside, it’s a lot easier for parents to get things done when they can keep baby happy and have the ability to get things done too.
2. Nurturing touches bring emotional support when a parent is missing.
I’m not going to lie. When your partner is gone, there is a strong focus on making sure your little ones are okay. The extra hugs, snuggles, and massages will meet the emotional needs children may be having as they miss their parent. Sometimes littles get extra clingy when a parent is deployed, and attachment parenting principles support as much nurturing touch as your child needs.
3. Consistent care comes in the form of fellow military spouses.
It’s no secret that babies and young children need consistent loving care. This is often hard for a military service member to provide due to the nature of his/her job. But that doesn’t mean that children necessarily miss out on that consistency. One of the most amazing things about military life is the other spouses and families you get to do life with. The saying, “It takes a village,” is never seen played to fruition more than in a military community, where moms and dads fill in for service members doing their duties.
There’s a bit of a joke in many spouse communities that spouse friends are sort of like ‘sister wives’ in how they help one another out with raising children while family members are deployed. Military children are not only given consistent and loving care from their parents but from a host of other parents as well.
4. Positive Discipline recognizes that the life of a military child is unique.
A military child’s life is unique. They are born into lives of service and sacrifice for their country, and while they bear that responsibility with the grace and resilience that astounds adults, they’re still kids who act like kids. When parents practice positive discipline techniques, children are given discipline with grace and empathy for their unique situations. When a military child’s behavior is looked at from the perspective of how tough it is to live this life sometimes, communication and compassion come into play and make the best of situations that are less than optimal.
5. Co-Sleeping makes mamas and children happy.
Case after case points to the benefits of co-sleeping, and the truth of a parent being deployed is that co-sleeping happens more often. Whether it’s because there’s more room, or a kiddo needs more snuggling because they’re missing a parent, co-sleeping during deployment is a pretty common occurrence, and research says that’s a good thing.