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Changes: "The New Normal"


The cast of Coming Home looking at an artifical arm.

Deployments bring changes to every member of the family. This is especially true when a service member returns due to injury. The injury may be physical or emotional or a combination of both. Suddenly everything that was normal before has changed. Nothing can be as unsettling for the family and especially for a child whose questions may not have immediate answers. Because things are constantly changing — and challenging — approach these changes in small steps as the returning parent and the whole family go through the various stages of coping with the "new normal."

  • Crisis and Stabilization

    When a parent returns from service, everyone’s support will be needed, particularly if he or she has physical and/or emotional injuries. During this time of uncertainty, your child will also need support — and hope. Read »

  • Invisible Injuries

    Injuries that can't be seen are the most difficult ones for a child to comprehend. The parent might have mood swings or might seem disengaged. You'll need strategies to help your child make sense of what’s happening. Read »

  • Rehabilitation

    The recovery process can be a long one, and there may be a few bumps on the journey. Find ways to help your child understand that it might be a while before things get better. And always remind him that you'll get through it together. Read »

  • Reintegration

    During the injured parent's rehabilitation, your family may be feeling more hopeful about the future and may start making long-term plans. This could mean a move to or from a military environment. Encourage your child to see this change as part of the journey. Read »

  • Activities

    Fun and engaging activities can go a long way in helping to put a child at ease. PBS KIDS has lots of choices, including activities that focus on creative expression, handling fear, expressing feelings and family togetherness. Read »

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