It is scary to watch your mother or father going to war and risking their lives. Do you know children in this situation? How would you advise them? This story is true for one of our viewers and so many othersÖ
Brandon: Hi and welcome to Shoroba and we have another email submission. This oneís entitled: My Daddy is Fighting and Dying for His Country. ďHi, my name is Tommy and my mommy says my dad dies a little every day being away from us. She says being in a foreign country and seeing dads burying their children is killing my dadís spirit. I donít want my dad to die! Please send him home. My mom cries every night for my dad and I donít understand why thereís a war anyway. Will you ask the people to stop killing my dad?Ē - ďHello, Iím Tommyís mother, Helen, and I found this letter under his pillow. I guess the advice I need is: How do I help my son with his fears of losing his dad?Ē
KP: Welcome to Shoroba, and today weíre talking about an email entitled: My Daddy is Fighting and Dying for His Country. Iím KP, and on the panel today we haveÖ
Alexandra: Iím Alexandra.
John: Iím John.
Brandon: Iím Brandon.
KP: And this is a really sad, touching storyÖ Hard thing to say; What do you tell someone when he knows that youíre dying a little each day when he watches fathers bury sons?
Alexandra: Well, I mean, first I just have to say as an aside that Iím really grateful for people like that daddy for fighting so that people like me donít have to. But, I think that, you know, gathering together with other families who are dealing with this issue and supporting each other is really going to be key for this kid. It could help out a lot.
John: Yeah, I think getting other like parents, like Helen. I mean, we donít know how old the son is, but it sounds like from the email that heís about, I donít know, ten or elevenÖ
John: Yeah, probably younger. That is probably the best thing to do, now isnít it? Because, as far as why theyíre over there, I donít personally understand war either other than thereís a lot of greed involved and Iím not making any money from it personally, but thereís other people.
Alexandra: Well, itís natural to be afraid.
John: Thereís a lot of people that are, and Iím not trying to get political, but what do you tell? What do you tell these people?
Brandon: You can tell them that daddy is a trained professional. That this is his job, he knows what heís doing. Yes, heís in danger, but heís thinking of his son every day.
John: And his country.
Brandon: And his country. But heís sacrificing, and what heís doing should be something that the son is really proud of while heís scared, while heís terrified.
Alexandra and John: Yeah.
Brandon: Obviously faith is going to be the major thing that they can all cling to , whatever faith they have.
KP: If they have faith.
Brandon: If they have a faith, you know.
John: And if they donít, I think what you said is the only thing. Get together with other people.
Alexandra: Yeah, you can certainly pile on pride, faith and things. But none of that is going to take away the fear. So, you have to process it. Yeah.
John: At the end of the day if you can discuss it with other people in the same boat as yourself and bring your kid along. Yeah.
KP: Itís really hard to know exactly what toÖ Do any of you have children? Do you have children?
KP: What do you think you would tell your child about not being afraid if you were away for a long time?
John: Iíll be totally honest, this just blew me away. Iím sitting here likeÖ In a situation like this I donít know what Iíd say. Personally? If my wife was overseasÖ I wouldnít let her go. I wouldnít let her go. And if I was the wife, I wouldnít let my husband go. I mean, thatís how selfish I am. I wouldnít let it happen, but thatísÖ thatísÖ thatís me. I take my hat off to these people who have the courage and testicular fortitude to say ďyeah, Iíll go, I donít like it.Ē Iím sure they donít like it. But, itís hard, man. Because the last thing you want to do is lose a spouse, lose a child. Thatís the last thing.
KP: But, I think itís great that she wants to talk to her son about it.
John: Oh, yeahÖ yeah. Sure.
KP: Talk to your son. Go to groups, you know, go to your church, you know, become very involved in your faith. Have your husband tell your son that, you know, he loves his son.
John: Whatever you find comforting, whether itís church, groups of other soldiersí wives, something like that.
Alexandra: Yeah, some kids, you know, just playing games that involve these issue that are pretty hard can actually help them. So, itís good to just see what other families are doing and what other kids her sonís age are doing.
John: And at the end of the day, what do you tell your child? You tell your child what they can understand for that age.
John: And as they ask questions answer them as honestly and truthfully as you possibly can. Thatís about it.
KP: I actually thing that sums it up pretty well for what we all think here. So, weíd like to know what you think as well. So, please come and join the discussion.
Tips for the Day
1.) Meet with other military families. The best comfort comes from those in the same place.
2.) Comfort your child with positive reinforcement about their fatherís current situation.
3.) Tell your child what their father does in a way that they can understand it.
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