10 Ways to Help a Military Child...
For the almost 2 million children with a parent or loved one serving today in the United States military, this year may bring a deployment of their parent or loved one, an order to move to a new base across the country, or a life
changed forever by injury or death. It is these trying circumstances – in these trying times of extended deployments – that remind us of the sacrifices, bravery and courage of the youngest among us: the military child.
What is the most important way each of us can honor those who serve our country so bravely? Make a 12-month effort to keep the spotlight on these amazing children and the loved ones who support them. Here are some ways to do this:
*Reach Out - Military-connected children are in every school, every town,and every community, so ask around at your workplace, church, or your local recreation center to find military-connected children and learn how
you can help.
*Know Your Neighbor - Life gets hectic, but take time to meet the military families in your community and learn their story so you can better understand what they are going through.
*Bring Brownies or Offer to Drive to Brownies - Deployment often means the waiting parent becomes a single parent, so help out by offering to carpool to activities, or bring over a home-baked meal or goodies for the family to enjoy.
*Reassure, Encourage, and Praise - Reassure children that they are safe and loved and doing a good job.
*Share Your Strengths and Resources - Volunteer to share your Web-cam so a military family can see their loved one serving abroad, or use your computer’s scanner to e-mail their drawings and photographs.
*Do Routine Things Routinely - Especially in times of transition and change,children need routine and structure. Maintain their daily routines, and stickto a schedule to ensure balance and comfort in the child’s life.
*Keep Standards High - Military-connected children are kids first and military children second. Offer them the same opportunities as every child and maintain the same high expectations for their success.
*Stay Flexible - Also remember that deployment of a parent or loved one means the family is operating with one less spoke in the wheel. Offer your help instead of criticism if the child is a few minutes late to soccer practice
or forgets the juice on snack day.
*Be a Mentor - Step up to offer support for the child by becoming a part of
their daily life, or serving as a positive role model.
*Support the Deployed Troops - Make an effort with military-connected children to reinforce pride in their parent who is serving, and to recognize the nobility of their service. Help the child send a care package to their parent, or help prepare signs for the homecoming celebration!
*Military children are your neighbors and your child’s classmates and playmates. They are the children next to you at religious services each week,and the children you see at school and on the playground every day. For their sacrifices, their honor, and their courage, they deserve the best.
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