Little Girl Missing Dad

Updated on January 27, 2010
J.W. asks from Tomball, TX
14 answers

My grand baby is very close to her Daddy but unfortunately my son-in-law is being activated with the Army. My daughter and grand daugher have moved into my home and my sons spend as much time with their niece as they can. In short the baby misses her daddy and calls out looking for him. When he calls she can't get to the phone fast enough! Sometimes she will pick up my daughter's phone look at my daughter and say Da over and over looking for her Daddy. We are beginning to believe she think her Daddy is in the phone. What can we do to help her understand her Daddy loves her and has not abandoned her?

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R.L.

answers from Houston on

Is there anyway you can set up web cam visits? I think that would help because then she could see and talk to her daddy. Even if it's only once a month I think that would help.

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S.H.

answers from Huntsville on

It is hard, I know. I've been there with my own daughter. My husband is in the National Guard and has been gone for weeks and months at times for training and also deployed. Make sure you have lots of pictures of Daddy for her to look at, especially pictures of him with her! Talk to her about him a lot, tell her every day that Daddy loves her. And even though she won't understand the time, talk to her about when/how long til Daddy will come home.

It's great that they can speak on the phone. Do they have access to Web cams? When my husband was deployed he was able to have his laptop w/ a Web cam and I had one on my computer. My daughter loved this since they could see each other. She also knows sign language, so they would sign to each other as well (mainly "I love you" and "I love more").

She's still going to be sad and miss him. I've had many nights with my daughter crying for Daddy. I think that's the hardest part :(

I hope that he stays safe and gets to come home soon! Thank you to him and your family for your service!

PS. I just remembered a video we had for my daughter to watch. It's called "Talk, Listen, Connect" from Sesame Street. It is about Elmo's dad who had to go away for a while. I can't get Sesame Street Workshop's site to work, but I Googled it and this is supposed to be the link: http://www.sesameworkshop.org/tlc/ The video should be available to you for free.

1 mom found this helpful
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E.M.

answers from Des Moines on

it maybe hard for him to do now but maybe you could get one of those recordable photo frames or storybooks so that she can have her daddy's voice when ever she needs the comfort. or maybe he could record a few short videos for her to watch and send them through email.

1 mom found this helpful
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W.P.

answers from Houston on

A picture frame that you can record his voice on might work. Have dad send her one of his dirty shirts to carry around. My kids like to sleep on their dads pillow when he's not here. Send him a tape recorder and blank tapes so he can read story books to her on tape. Get one of those photo albums they give you when you have photos developed and fill it with pictures of him.

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T.H.

answers from Killeen on

Hi J.
My husband has been deplyed 4 times and he's getting ready to go on his 5th. It's very hard on the children. I agree with everyone about the pictures. I would place a picture by her bed so that she's able to tell him goodnight. Also, my husband sent messages (via email) to our children saying special things like, I Love You! Goodnight, peaceful dreams. In other words, routines that he would do if he was home. So before they went to bed, if Daddy didn't call that day or they didn't see him on the webcam (or skypes) that helped A LOT. What your grandbaby is going through is very normal. My kids thought Daddy was in the computer. I showed my kids a map of Iraq. Sometimes the Family Readiness Group (FRG) send out emails showing how the Soldiers are living and where they're eating. I would show that to my children. I also told them everyday that Daddy loves them and missing them and can't wait to come home and see them. Make sure that your daughter is involved in the FRG. She can call her FRG leader or her key caller. They can make sure she gets materials to help her, help her daughter. Also I agree with the other lady, who mentioned military one source. Its a great resource as well. Both military one source and the FRG are a great resource for you, your daughter, your sons and your granddaughter. I hope this helps!

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L.P.

answers from San Antonio on

J.,
My husband has been deployed for the last 6 months & I have 2 childern, 6 & 1. My 1yr old was 9 months when his daddy left. Does your son-in-law have access to the internet? We skype with my husband so the kids can see him with the web cam & he can see the kids. My son still picks up the phone, puts it to his ear & says dada, even though he talks to daddy on skype most of the time. Also get a soft plastic photo album & fill it with photos of her & Daddy. Have him record his voice reading a book, or singing songs to her, that she can play when she misses Daddy. There is a web site that you can get a Daddy doll, that she can hold & sleep with www.hugahero.com. It is hard I do understand & she will still have days where she really wants Daddy, my 6yr old still cries many nights for her daddy. There will be adjustments when he gets back, but just continue to emerse her with things & pictures of Daddy. I hope some of this helps. If your Daughter needs to talk to anyone please have her e-mail me [email protected]____.com are all in my prayers. God Bless!

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L.B.

answers from Corpus Christi on

this is hard and it happens over and over with the kids of active duty families. Pictures, recording and letters help along with the comp. because you are able to talk with them on camera.

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J.T.

answers from College Station on

So nice to hear that she has such a relationship with Dad!

It is a sad situation. How long has it been? I would hate to say, but maybe when Dad calls, don't let her talk each and every time... a very hard thing to do as Dad and girl want to talk to each other. It is so hard to get a 10mo to understand much in the way of Daddy is away and will be back in a year.

I would give her one of those kids picture wallets and fill it with pictures of her a daddy. She can carry that around and look at it whenever she wants. They are made of fabric and the pages are heavy plastic so the pics can be taken out and it can be washed.

Maybe have Dad record some stories on tape so she can listen o them at night?

Hope he comes home soon! God Bless HIM!

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R.H.

answers from San Antonio on

My husband has also been deployed a few times. You have received several good ideas. For my girls we went to Build a Bear, and made a "daddy bear". We bought the recordable button and my husband recorded a short saying. ex) Daddy loves you Shelby and I will see you in your dreams. If you want you could mail the device to him to record and then take it back to the store and they will gladly put it inside the bear. Or have him record himself on video reading her favorite book for her to watch. We also use Skype. Video phone on the PC. My daughter was 14mos. And would always look behind the screen to see where daddy was! militaryonesource.com is also a great source for questions or ideas. There is a website that you can send a picture of daddy and they make a doll out of him. I can't remember the site right now but if you are interested please feel free to email me with any questions. Sometimes it is nice to know someone that is going through the same thing.
[email protected]____.com

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A.N.

answers from Houston on

Hi! While my husband was deployed my daughter did the same thing and my best advise would be to put out as many pics of him as possible. Also so they lasted a little longer and she couldn't rip them I got them laminated and stuck them in random places. Ex. The car, her crib, kinda wierd but near her little potty... Also we did webcam or if he was to busy he would send videos and while I would clean just play them even if she isn't watching she still gets to hear his voice. I hope this can help you!! And give him and his family a huge thanks!!!!!

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K.B.

answers from San Antonio on

she might associate Da with phone- at 10 mos it sounds like she has- if your son can't call her often have your other son call her on a daily basis and tell her he loves her-"daddy"- I am sure their voices sound alike on the phone- my sister and I have to identify ourselves to our mom and dad when we call- "before caller ID that is". She might not actively remember it but she will feel the love in her soul-show her a picture of daddy every time "they" talk- that way when he returns she won't be nervous when a large man is in her world and not a little phone : ) There are actually companies that will take a full view picture of your son who is deployed and make them into a life size pillow for kids of those serving-that would be awesome for her too! Praying for all of you!

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M.R.

answers from San Francisco on

My husband will be deploying in a couple of weeks to Iraq our daughters are older but we all still feel the pain of him leaving. The suggestions you have received are all very good. I would add that for you and your daughter there are the military family support group that should be part of his unit. Also, there is military one source that provides alot of support for famiiles - books and video for children. The picture is to say good night is really important that was actually that was a recommendation from the yellow ribbon event that we participated in recently. That is another source of support for you and your family are the yellow ribbon events that provide alot of information plus issues that all of us are facing.

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D.H.

answers from Austin on

My duaghter was a Marine and served in Iraq. She was deployed when her daughter was 18 months and was away for 1 year. Dad out of the picture totally. So it was grandma and grandpa. I had a blanket made with Mom and her on it. Actaully I had 2 made one for her and one for mom. Each night we would wrap it around grandchild and say --OHHHH mommy loves you. And hug her tight. Mom could also wrap up in it. Of course she probably cried! We had mom make movies of book readings. This turned out to be odd because grandchild would think mom was in the tv! SO I completly understand! There is really not much that can be done. 10 months does not have enough language. At least she has one of her parents. Give strength to mom. That is who really needs it. Her daughter will do fine if you all do fine. They read our moods and reactions. Love to all of you. This is tough but do-able. Most of the world will not know or understand that this is what sacrifice looks like. Our job here at home is to keep things nomal for all. Dad does not need to know of his daughters distress other than she loves and misses and looks forward to the call. IF she thinks the phone is where her daddy is-no problem this will not hurt her in the long view of things. I mostly hurts your heart. This time will pass and all will be fine. Hang in there and bless all of you as you are all serving our country.

D.
mom of two Marines, one offer in the making and 1 lovely grand daughter.

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