There's nothing like a good video of a mom or dad coming home from the military to surprise their kids to make a mess out of me. I grin. I cry. I grin. I cry. Lather, rinse, repeat. And now I feel like a monster.
Because psychologists have come out to say that these military homecoming videos are totally screwing up the kids in them. Great! Another thing I've done wrong as a mother.
But hold up!
The experts are referring only to Coming Home on Lifetime and Surprise Homecoming on TLC, not to those YouTube videos that make me a blubbering mess. And I'm not so sure that everything they say holds water here.
See, a study has shown that even though adults start to feel better after their loved one returns from the military, kids are still freaked. For one-third of the kids, they say the anxiety was “clinically significant,” meaning severe enough to warrant attention from a professional. Sticking a camera in kids' faces, the experts say, is just adding fuel to the fire. You're freaking the kids out when they need to be comforted.
OK. I get that. I'm no big fan of those reality shows with the kiddos. But here's where I have a wee bit of a disagreement. The lovely thing about the homecoming videos is that you can play them for kids again and again. They show them that, yes, Daddy or Mommy is leaving, but look, they come back! Despite the horrors that our military endures, most (thank goodness) do make it home to their loved ones.
This is good not just for kids who had Mom or Dad show up and then leave, but for kids whose parent is leaving now. It's the whole "greater good" idea. I'm not one to give reality shows such power -- normally -- but this is a bona fide parenting tool! When your spouse is leaving, you can actually turn one of these suckers on and show your kids the reality instead of leaving them to wonder.
What do you think? Are you a fan of these shows?
Image via YouTube