War's toll on children

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz  February 22, 2010 06:00 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Dear Barbara,

My son-in-law has been deployed to Afghanistan. My daughter and I are wondering how we can help her son (my grandson), who is 8 and knows his father is defending our country in a war. He tends to be anxious. Everyday, he asks, "Did we win the war yet?"

From: myheartaches, Brockton

Dear Myheartaches,

Mine does, too.

The best you can do for your grandson is to be honest in an age-appropriate way. When he asks, "Did we win yet," answer him truthfully but without getting into a lot of detail: "Not yet, but your father and all the other soldiers and the President are working really hard so soldiers can come home and this war will be over as quickly as possible."

You might also want to read this article, by Wheelock College professor Diane Levin, on the toll this war is taking on children. Page 5 offers strategies for helping them.

I answer a question from a reader every weekday. If you want help with some aspect of child-rearing, just write to me here.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

1 comments so far...
  1. Barbara & LW: Lylah wrote a piece on this a while back and I offered some firsthand experience tips and resources. OBS.org has a dearth of information relating to toddlers and school-age kids and dealing with deployments.

    Her son-in-law's duty station should also have a Family Readiness Center with resources to help support her grandson and his mom, as well as better explain what's going on to him.

    There are tons of government and civilian resources out there - and if the LW wants to contact me directly, feel free to share my e-mail with her and I can put her and her family in touch with people where I work who can help or I canhelp find the resources at her son-in-law's duty station.

    Posted by Phe February 22, 10 11:48 AM
 
1 comments so far...
  1. Barbara & LW: Lylah wrote a piece on this a while back and I offered some firsthand experience tips and resources. OBS.org has a dearth of information relating to toddlers and school-age kids and dealing with deployments.

    Her son-in-law's duty station should also have a Family Readiness Center with resources to help support her grandson and his mom, as well as better explain what's going on to him.

    There are tons of government and civilian resources out there - and if the LW wants to contact me directly, feel free to share my e-mail with her and I can put her and her family in touch with people where I work who can help or I canhelp find the resources at her son-in-law's duty station.

    Posted by Phe February 22, 10 11:48 AM
add your comment
Required
Required (will not be published)

This blogger might want to review your comment before posting it.

About the author

Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

Submit a question for Barbara's Mailbag


Ask Barbara a question

Barbara answers questions on a wide range of topics, including autism, breastfeeding, bullying, discipline, divorce, kindergarten, potty training, sleep, tantrums, and much, much more.

Send your questions to her at:
meltzbarbara (at) gmail.com.
Please include your name and hometown.

Child in Mind

Moms
All parenting discussions
Discussions

High needs/fussy baby

memes98 writes "My 10.5 month old DS has been fussy ever since he was born, but I am getting very frustrated because I thought he would be much better by now...has anyone else been through this?"

More community voices

Child in Mind

Corner Kicks

Dirty Old Boston

Mortal Matters

On Deck

TEDx Beacon Street

RSS feed


click here to subscribe to
Child Caring

archives