Deployment and school-age kids

Catherine Mogil, PsyD Family Trauma Therapist, shares advice for military parents on how they can help their children through the difficult time when their father or mother is deployed
Parenting Tips | Helping Kids Through A Parent's Deployment
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Deployment and school-age kids

Nurses' offices on the military installations and in the schools are always crowded around deployments and around reintegration periods. School-age kids often express their anxiety in the form of their body – headaches, stomachaches. And so one of the things that we can really help our teachers to understand is what our kids are going through. So as a parent, if you can go talk to the teacher, talk to the school counselor, talk to the principle, make sure they're aware that your child is going though a deployment right now. And then they can just have a bit more of understanding about what's going on for your child. They really want to help and if they don't know they can't really provide the help that they would really like to be able to provide. One of the things that military parents can do is open the door for conversations with their kids. A lot of military parents are really fearful that their child is going to ask them something really difficult or really hard and that they're not going to know how to answer it. So it something tends to be like this elephant in the room – we'll just not talk about it. But the truth is when parents go to their kids and say, "I know this is a hard time. We all miss your father or your mother right now." It opens the door for kids to speak up, share how they are feeling. And it's really great when parents can also leave that door open and say, "I'm glad we could talk about this, but I'm always here for you, so if you want to talk about it again tonight, tomorrow, in two weeks we can still do that."

Catherine Mogil, PsyD Family Trauma Therapist, shares advice for military parents on how they can help their children through the difficult time when their father or mother is deployed


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Catherine Mogil, PsyD

Family Trauma Therapist

Dr. Catherine E. Mogil is an assistant clinical professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior in the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a licensed clinical psychologist and serves as the director of training and intervention development for the Nathanson Family Resilience Center and as the co-director of the Child and Family Trauma Service.

Dr. Mogil is also a consultant for the National Military Family Association's Operation Purple Family Retreats, the Uniformed Services University, and a special military project with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Her recent research focuses on the effects of multiple deployments on military families, including the role of parental functioning on childhood mental health. Working with children of all developmental stages, Dr. Mogil has been involved in several intervention development and translational research projects that examine the efficacy of parent-assisted interventions for infants and toddlers in foster care, school-aged children with developmental disabilities, and adolescents with autism spectrum and other disorders.

Dr. Mogil is certified in parent-child interaction therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, and leadership education in neurodevelopmental disabilities. She received her doctorate from Pepperdine University and completed her clinical internship at UCLA. Dr. Mogil also completed a postdoctoral fellowship specializing in the prevention and treatment of child and family traumatic stress at the University of Southern California and Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

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