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Deployed spouses and parents
leave void in families
URBANA -- "One of the big
challenges for reserve families is that they are spread out. They
may not be close to a base where they can find comfort from others
who are facing similar issues," said Robert Hughes, head of Human
and Community Development at the University of Illinois.
Before he came to Illinois, Hughes
helped the Department of Defense develop Web-based resources to
teach people in the armed forces how to balance family and military
life when a family member is on active duty. With colleagues at the
University of Missouri, he created the Healthy Parenting Tool Kit,
Military deployment goes on almost
invisibly in peacetime. It's a fact of life that military families
learn to live with. Hughes said that almost all of the service
branches have some mechanism for encouraging the family members of
deployed reservists and keeping them in touch with each other. The
website was created partly because the Defense Department knew
reservists' families don't have the easy access to information that
families on base have.
Also, Hughes said that military
families, like other families, worry about a blotch on their record
if they seek help with problems they might be having. "It's really
critical to be able to get information in people's hands without
them having to identify themselves," he said.
The most immediate challenge of a
spouse's deployment is that the one left behind becomes totally
responsible for all of the ordinary business of handling household
chores, including parenting and child-care responsibilities, he
said. "And, all the while, you're worried because you know this
family member is in a dangerous place," said Hughes.
Hughes says the first advice spouses
left at home always hear is to take care of themselves. "But how do
you take care of yourself when suddenly you have double the
parenting work you used to have?" he said.
"Military families are very
self-reliant. They're good at taking care of themselves. They're
eager to take care of themselves. For that reason, they can be
reluctant to ask for help," he said.
Hughes said it's important for these
spouses to realize that it's not a sign of weakness to ask someone
to take care of their kids for a while. "We all need help
occasionally. No one is going to think there's something wrong with
you if you ask for it, and you'll have a chance to help somebody
else out at some point," he said.
And it's important for the deployed
spouse to know a support system is in place back home "to deal with
everything from a broken water pipe to the major sorts of
difficulties a family might have," he said.
[to top of second column in this
"It may seem like an odd thing for the
military to pay attention to, but I think most commanders will tell
you that it's absolutely critical that their soldiers are not
distracted by difficulties at home so they can pay attention to
carrying out their mission," he said.
It's easy for spouses at home to be
distracted from their "mission" as well. Although modern technology
keeps families in touch via e-mail and even videoconferencing, it
also brings combat into the home in a way that can be upsetting,
especially to small children. "Almost all military families will
tell you that they try to control how much TV they're watching.
There's so much information, and families will listen anxiously to
every morsel of news, wondering, Is this my son or daughter's
unit?" he said.
Oddly enough, the most difficult part
of deployment may come after the family is reunited, said Hughes.
"Military people who have done this more than once will tell you
that it's always harder to come back than it was to leave. Spouses
and children will have changed, they've learned new things, someone
may have taken over a chore that you always did. It's just this
awkward feeling that your place in the family isn't quite there, and
it can be a challenge to fit back in," he said.
"And the one who's returning will have
changed. When military people have been in very dangerous, stressful
environments, it takes time to readjust. Couples have to find a way
to reorganize the family and incorporate everybody back into it," he
Hughes cautions that military parents
who spend a lot of time on deployment may withdraw from being active
parents. He worries that they may not use the opportunity to parent
when they are around or use the telephone, letters or e-mail to keep
in touch and continue to have relationships with their children, he
this is easy. It's a long learning process for these families. But a
very large percentage of these soldiers are very young men and
women, as young as 18 years old. There are lots of things they
haven't figured out yet about themselves, and now they've taken on
this very complicated, very dangerous job, and they're managing
their families all at the same time. You have to be impressed by how
well many of them do it and how capably they manage things that
would challenge any of us," Hughes said.
of Illinois news
Parents, leave your
bad mood at work
URBANA -- Parents who bring
a bad day at the office home with them should realize it affects
their children, said Angela Wiley, an expert in family relations at
the University of Illinois. All too often, a bad day at work can
turn into a bad evening at home.
Wiley pointed to the work of researcher
Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute in New
York. Galinsky found that almost half the parents she studied
sometimes felt too tired to interact with their children or allowed
something that had happened at work to affect the way they behaved
with their child.
Children are very sensitive to their
parents' moods, and they routinely play detective to figure out what
kind of mood their parents are in when families are reunited at the
end of the day, Wiley said.
In Galinsky's book "Ask the Children,"
the author mentioned one child who actually called her parents at
work to see what kind of mood they were in so she could decide
whether to clean the house before they came home.
UCLA researcher Rena Repetti says that
children are quick to understand when their parents are stressed and
to adapt to the situation. She found that children tried to be on
their best behavior, whined and cried less, and even tried to cheer
their mothers up. "But children shouldn't regularly have to tiptoe
around a parent's bad humor or feel that they have to make things
better for the parent all the time," Wiley said.
Wiley said that parents should be able
to show children how to cope with having a bad day. She recommends
building a toolbox of strategies to help parents buffer the impact
of a bad day at work on themselves and their children.
Many parents use a commute to distance
themselves emotionally from work even as they distance themselves
physically. Some people find that listening to relaxing music or
inspirational tapes on the way home helps, while others find that
choosing less traveled, scenic roads helps them to relax.
She also recommends cognitive
reframing, trying to find the positive aspects of a situation and
focusing on them. Here's an example: "When my boss said those
things, it hurt, but I know that she's a fair person and I'll have a
chance to improve my performance."
Or, "There are definitely things about
my job I don't like, but even the bad points have a flip side. I'm
going to concentrate on those now."
[to top of second column in
Visualization is another tool that
parents can use to leave stress where it belongs. One parent Wiley
talked to visualizes hanging a bag of work issues on a tree that she
passes on the way home. She picks them up again as she goes to work
the next morning.
Wiley likes to visualize constructing a
fire wall between the "fires at work" and family time at home. "But
there needs to be some degree of permeability in the fire wall," she
"It isn't necessary for your kids to
see you happy all the time, and it isn't necessarily bad for kids to
know you've had a rough day. In some ways, that knowledge protects
them because they know what's wrong and they don't automatically
assume your mood is their fault," she said.
"If you can go home and say my boss
yelled at me and I need to take 15 minutes for myself to unwind,
that's positive. If you don't take the time to make the transition,
the danger is that your mood will stay with you into the evening and
unconsciously influence you to be distant from your family. Then
you're not there to listen to them about what's happening in their
world," Wiley said.
Parents shouldn't hide all negative
emotions, but they should avoid flooding their children with
out-of-control emotions. "Our job as parents is not to be infallible
but for them to see us constructively dealing with our emotions,"
"It's appropriate to be hurt and angry
if your boss yelled at you, and it's certainly appropriate to be sad
sometimes if there are other stressors in your life. But children
need to know that you're handling your emotions, that you're not
going to careen out of control. The message should be: Yes, you're
sad, but you're going to be okay. You're their stability, and when
you lose your equilibrium, it's a scary thing for them."
important that we be able to talk to our spouses, our friends or
maybe even a clergyperson about our problems at work. But avoid
using your child as a confidante and making her responsible for
comforting you," Wiley said.
[University of Illinois news
click here for
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Our staff offers more than 25 years of experience in the
At the corner of Woodlawn and
515 Woodlawn Road
IEPA to host household hazardous
waste cleanup in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD -- Homeowners
with household hazardous waste will be able to safely dispose of it
in Springfield, according to state Sen. Larry Bomke. The Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency, Sangamon County Department of
Public Health and the city of Springfield are hosting a Household
Hazardous Waste Collection Day in Springfield on Saturday, May 3.
Bomke, R-Springfield, urges area
residents to take advantage of this valuable program and clean out
any hazardous materials from their homes.
"Common household items such as paints,
pesticides and chemical cleaners tend to collect in our garages and
sheds over the years," said Bomke. "These items can be dangerous if
they are not stored and disposed of properly. I urge homeowners to
check the expiration dates and drop off any of these materials that
may have become hazardous or that they simply wont be using in the
Items accepted include oil-based
paints, household batteries, paint thinners, used motor oil,
herbicides, drain cleaners, insecticides, lawn chemicals,
pesticides, solvents, old gasoline, antifreeze, pool chemicals,
hobby chemicals, cleaning products, aerosol paints and pesticides,
mercury, and fluorescent lamp bulbs.
[to top of second column in this
Latex paint, agricultural wastes,
propane tanks, business and commercial sector wastes, smoke
detectors, explosives, farm machinery oil, fireworks, fire
extinguishers, lead acid batteries, institutional wastes, and
medical wastes will not be accepted.
Items may be taken to the Illinois
State Fairgrounds, Lot 21 (enter gate 11 at Eighth Street and
Sangamon Avenue) on Saturday, May 3, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
the IEPA, more than 262,100 households have participated in 292
events, collecting more than 53,765 drums of material since 1989.
For more information, visit
Animals for Adoption
April 28, Logan County Animal Control is experimenting for 60 days
with Saturday hours. The new hours are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on
weekdays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. Only registration, payment of
fines and animal pickup can be accomplished on Saturday. Adoptions
must take place during the week.
At Logan County Animal Control
Big to little, most of these dogs will make wonderful
lifelong companions when you take them home and provide solid,
steady training, grooming and general care. Get educated about what
you choose. If you give them the time and care they need, you will
be rewarded with much more than you gave them. They are
entertaining, fun, comforting, and will lift you up for days on end.
Be prepared to take the necessary time when you bring home a
puppy, kitten, dog, cat or any other pet, and you will be blessed.
[Logan County Animal Control is thankful for pet supplies donated by
individuals and Wal-Mart.]
[Hi! I'm Mike! I'm a 2- to 3-year-old male looking
for a family. My favorite activities include watching my
breath and licking your face.]
[This is Jeff. Jeff is a 1- to 2-year-old mixed breed
looking for a good home.]
[Just look at those faces! These 9-week cuties love to
roll and tumble and play.
But don't let their small size fool you. They are
boxer-collie mixes, so they'll get quite a bit bigger!]
Want your ad to be
seen all over Logan County?
Lincoln Daily News!
Our staff offers more than 25 years of experience in the
At the corner of Woodlawn and Business 55
is the place to
Call (217) 732-7443
Ten reasons to adopt a shelter dog
1. I'll bring out your playful side!
2. I'll lend an ear to your troubles.
3. I'll keep you fit and trim.
4. We'll look out for each other.
5. We'll sniff out fun together!
6. I'll keep you right on schedule.
7. I'll love you with all my heart.
8. We'll have a tail-waggin' good time!
9. We'll snuggle on a quiet evening.
10. We'll be best friends always.
[Logan County Animal Control is thankful for pet supplies
donated by individuals and Wal-Mart.]
In the cat section there are a number of wonderful cats to
in a variety of colors and sizes.
Farm cats available for free!
[This big boy is Sam.
Sam's a little pushy, so no small kids, please.]
[This fine looking girl is Snake. She's just a kitten, and
she's ready to slither her way into your heart.]
[Snowball and Sunshine, a beautiful girl-boy pair, can't wait
to bring joy and warmth into your home.]
These animals and
more are available to good homes from the Logan County Animal
Control at 1515 N. Kickapoo, phone 735-3232.
Fees for animal
adoption: dogs, $60/male, $65/female; cats, $35/male, $44/female.
The fees include neutering and spaying.
Logan County Animal Control's hours of operation:
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
NOTE: Beginning April 28, hours will
be 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on weekdays
and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays.
Vickie Loafman, animal control warden
deputy animal control warden
Tammy Langley, part-time assistant
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