Kids… They bring us tears, laughter, joy and heartache. We give them our hearts, our homes, our lives …
April is the month in which we honor the children of our Military Families. These children sacrifice the time that they would have with a beloved parent ,as that parent works to defend our freedoms, our livelihood, our way of life as we know it. Without these brave warriors, we would not have the safety and privileges that we enjoy as a nation.
So , how can we help when these children,home waiting for a parent to return?How do we help them look at the year ahead missing that important person? How can we help as a Family is apart and the parent at home shoulders all the responsibility? Here are a few ideas, and I hope that you will post others that I have not thought of!
* The We Serve Too! books are great for starting conversations and honoring the feelings and lives of Military kids. Read the stories, and check the parent guides for good conversation starters. Here is the link to our website http://weservetoo.com/
* If you are not the parent or close relative of a Military Family, consider a box of books to be donated to the children of a nearby Military installation, school on post, or daycare center. The books are great for educating civilian children on the sacrifices made by kids with parents that are deployed or returning too.Local school libraries are another place that donations are appreciated.
* The Homecoming Box books make a great activity for a group of children or for one child. The book explains the Homecoming Box, and there are instructions in the back on making the boxes that become a family treasure.
* Host a Homecoming Box party or FRG activity and let the kids work together. It is always good to let the kids talk with one another as they share the same journey.
*Here is the link http://www.operationwearehere.com/Children.html to the childrens page on the website of Operation We Are Here. There are lots of resources on it , and I bet you will find some ideas here about things to do with the kids.
* Taking time to talk with children can enlighten you and also provide clues as to ways to honor them. Ask about school, friends, homework. Do they need homework help, time away, an outing with one of their friend in tow? Maybe they need to practice their fast ball, get a ride to dance class, just talk to someone about what it is like missing an absent parent.
* be supportive by going to the school play, the science fair, the choir program. You will enjoy them more than you think, even if your kids (and maybe especially so ) if your kids are grown!
* If you are family, or a close friend, let them know that you miss their dad or mom too.
* Offer help or meals to the family. Not just “call me”, but ” I am bringing dinner, what night this week is best?” Supporting the Family helps kids feel secure.
* It doesn’t have to been hard, take a lot of time or money. An ice cream cone, a cute sticker for that child that sits behind you in church, a smile and a “thank you for your parents service” , can let a child feel the pride of being part of a Military family.
Please post an idea, so that many can make a difference for kids this month. April is a month to remember, honor and express our gratitude for the people who give so much.
In the words of a soldier: “If you help my child, you help me. Nothing is more important to me than that.”