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1. Talk as a family before deployment.
Before a deployment, military members are usually preoccupied with many preparatory activities at their military unit, requiring extended hours, and increased workload. As a result, they come home tired, perhaps late, and are already reluctant to address painful issues of impending separation. Family members frequently collude in this. It is important to overcome this resistance and make plans with the family as far ahead as possible.
2. Bestow, rather than "dump," responsibilities on remaining family members.
Concerns expressed by children after a parent has been deployed are that everything has changed at home and they now have to do "everything" that the deployed parent used to do. Discussions before deployment, in which trust and faith in a child's ability to carry out a responsibility are expressed, are valuable times to help a child to feel he/she is important to the family, is important to the deployed parent, and that he/she can help share a potential burden with the remaining parent.
3. Make plans …