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Stop the Madness

June 5, 2009

Granted, I go by LopsidedMom, not SuperUberMom, and my views might not be mainstream on this issue, but if I see one more “surprise” video of kids’ reactions upon their parents return from a deployment, I think my eyes actually might roll out of my head.

Today’s example? See here, from the banal Today Show.

Really? Who on earth would think this is a good idea to do to a 4th grade girl, in front of her entire class? Who is this about? The girl? Most certainly not.

I would be the last one to claim there is one right way to get children through a deployment – no guidelines or lectures can tell a parent what will work the best for their child in this extenuating circumstance. Our own children needed consistency, community and information. Most importantly, they needed the chance to live their lives and not have the fact their Daddy was gone thrown in their face at every turn.

Please, can we stop with the exploitation of private moments? Having someone come in to film the final moments of a very long journey does absolutely nothing to further the understanding of milkids and their unique experience.

Can you tell? Lip service is low on my lists of favorites.

How about, instead, that we all make sure that schools heavy in kids with deployed parents have higher than normal teacher to student ratios AND that all those teachers have been briefed in the complexities of deployments? How about we double the number of compassionate, qualified counselors? What about strong after- school programs? How about we start there and lose the ridiculously staged surprises? How about we – both as parents and military supporters – put as much thought into the every day and the reintegration as we do the pretty picture at the end?

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2009 9:38 pm

    How about we – both as parents and military supporters – put as much thought into the every day and the reintegration as we do the pretty picture at the end?
    Agreed!
    It’s just like the video capturing the troops’ homecoming ~ it makes everyone feel better, but ignores the ravages of war on the families.

  2. June 5, 2009 10:11 pm

    Bravo, sister. I’m applauding you!

  3. June 5, 2009 11:45 pm

    Excellent post. Focusing on the event of homecoming at the expense of the long-term process of reintegration is similar to those who reduce the complexities of marriage to the tidy niceties of the wedding ceremony.

  4. June 5, 2009 11:51 pm

    I saw that this morning at the gym! I thought the exact same thing, but not as well expressed as you said it. Thank you.

  5. June 6, 2009 12:39 am

    It’s one thing to have everyone involved give their consent. But when someone is surprised like that with the cameras rolling — even if the intentions are good — it makes me very uncomfortable.

    I like your suggested alternatives — the TV cameras won’t find those as interesting, but they’d be a whole lot more useful for the kids.

  6. June 6, 2009 12:48 am

    Stories like that just bring tears to my eyes. I don’t have experience yet with my child understand deployment, she is still too little. I dread the day she understands it.

  7. Gitana permalink
    June 6, 2009 2:59 am

    Perfectly said.

  8. June 8, 2009 2:03 am

    All the school here in the area have deployment groups, all teachers are specially schooled . As soon as the schools get notices that parents deploy they offer counseling, meetings and take special care of the kid.
    Every school does quite a lot of activities involving soldiers and kids of deployed soldiers.
    On post they have also child psychologist that meet with children that have a special hard time with a deployment like my 6 year old has.
    I really cant complain.

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