Best Practices for Grief – Parental Deployment


This series began with an introduction of multiple grief experiences of youth in foster care placement.  This series continues with a look at parental deployment and its impact on youth.

Multiple relocations.  Loss of friendships.  Loss of pets.  Parental deployment.  Death.  These are a few of the many grief experiences military children and teens in the United States may face today.


Out of the 5 million Americans  connected with the military family, 2 million are children.  On average military children will move 6-9 times between kindergarten and high school.

Studies continue to show heightened stress and pressure being put on families with increased deployments.  There is a need now more than ever before for increased understanding of military culture in non-military schools.  We need to help students with military connectedness get the support required for them to be successful both academically and emotionally.  It’s time for us to create more conversations around how to better serve this population of military children and teens.

Below is the second video in our video series highlighting best practices for teachers and other key players impacting the lives of grieving youth today.  I interviewed Benjamin Wilson, California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) for this conversation about grief and loss experiences.  Wilson is a Certified FOCUS Trainer and FOCUS Site Director for Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC). Wilson offers best practices when working with children and teens experiencing parental deployment. He provides insight into the importance of recognizing each military connected child or teen as an individual and the importance of meeting them where they’re at in their grief.  This interview includes practical tools and helpful resources for parents, teachers, educators, and other adults working with military connected youth.

One of my favorite takeaways from this video is that we must not forget that although military connected youth may be impacted by multiple grief and loss experiences, they are highly resilient and have a strong ability to overcome adversity.  

November 19th, I will be hosting a twitter chat to discuss best practices when working with grieving youth.  Leading up to this twitter chat,  I will continue to post more information and highlight our campaign using the hashtag #Grief5.  You can see images from the hashtag campaign on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram here.

In the meantime, use our hashtag #Grief5 to share our information, start your own conversation, and follow our campaign for updates.  You can find us on Facebook at The Alliance for Positive Youth Development and The SISGI Group.  On Twitter we are @NotEnoughGood and @Ideas4youth.  We are also @Youth4change on Instagram.

To see all the videos in the series please view the playlist on our ISC Youtube channel.



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