While everyone can agree that there’s a sense of respect and appreciation for those who sacrifice their time, talents, abilities, and sometimes even their lives for the protection of our country, very few parents tend to be excited about the prospect of their child being one of those people. However, this is something that many parents wind up having to come to terms with once their child decides to sign up to serve in the armed forces.
If this is a choice your child has made, here are three ways you can begin to cope with your feelings of your child joining the armed forces.
Learn About Their Motivations
Coming to this decision likely wasn’t something that your child took lightly. Although it might seem like a rash decision to you, odds are that your child has wrestled long and hard with making this decision. So now, it’s up to you to embrace their reasons and motivations.
According to Darren Haber, a contributor to GoodTherapy.org, you should try to show curiosity about your child’s decision in order to learn what their motivations are and try to gain an understanding of their decision. Maybe your child is interested in things like weaponry, camaraderie, having a support system, money for college after their service, and much more. As you learn exactly why your child is wanting to join the military and what he or she hopes to get out of this experience, it may be easier for you to cope with their decision.
Share Your Trust
For many parents, their biggest hang-up about their child joining the armed forces is their worry about the safety of their child. However, what you express to your child that you don’t agree with their decision to join the military, Carvell Wallace, a contributor to Slate.com, shares that many children view this as their parents saying that they don’t trust them, which can be extremely hurtful.
To keep this miscommunication from happening within your relationship with your child, you should try to feel and then express the feelings of trust in your child that he or she can make the best decisions for themselves. Share that your feelings of unease come from your worry and not from your questioning of his or her abilities to succeed in this environment or in making a smart decision.
Come To Terms With Communication
Parental worries can get exacerbated when you don’t have regular communication while your child is in the military. And while this can be hard to deal with, GoArmy.com shares that there will be times when communication is sparse and certain information will be withheld from you. But as long as you and your child commit to getting in contact when you can, this can help to put your mind at ease.
If your child is considering joining the armed forces, try using the tips mentioned above to help you cope with this decision.