If you are an army veteran and a parent, chances are, you have been going through some rough patches with combat stress and possibly, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It’s pretty normal to be having a hard time adjusting after you’ve served, but don’t stress too much over the fact that it may affect how you raise your children. It will only cause you more stress. You just need a little help, and maybe this just might be what you need.
It’s a Change for Everyone
After serving in the military, coming home to your family may result in a pretty huge change in the environment- not only for you but also for them. Your children might have already grown and got used to the fact that you are not around. Don’t worry, all they need is some time to get used to you being there now. Don’t rush into it, especially if you see that they are more comfortable with sharing their experiences to and seeking help from the at-home parent. You will all fall into a pattern after some time.
They will also be needing some time to adjust to your behavior. Traumatic experiences in the army have changed you. You may not be treated like how they used to treat you before you left. There will be differences not only with them but also with you. Give them time to adjust to you as you adjust to them.
Understand Each Other
And this isn’t only for your children, but also for your partner as well. Having you back in the picture will be new to your partner who has been used to holding the fortress down, alone, while you were gone.
Imagine how hard it was for your spouse as well, having to raise the children alone. Of course, that couldn’t be compared to your job at war, but, try to be understanding of each other’s burdens and experience.
Seek Professional Help
Always remember to breathe and think before acting, especially if you were trained for combat. Sudden occurrences may spark triggers in you that will make you act on impulse. Keep those in check because it may cause fear inside the household. If your stressors continue being bothersome, try seeking professional help.
However, despite all these challenges, you can and will be able to parent your children. Don’t let these momentary lapses wear you down. It may not be easy to adjust and maintain a calm and domestic attitude and persona after what you’ve been through, but just like how you poured countless hours and trained to be fit for the army, you can also train yourself to be a better parent and spouse. You served in the military for crying out loud. You can handle this!
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