Monday, November 12, 2012

Teaching Kids to Express Gratitude & Kindness to Soldiers

Teaching Kids to Express Kindness for American Soldiers

Can children be taught kindness and gratitude? Certainly. Children learn by example. They will feel the goodness that comes from giving and want to help others. Offering children opportunities to serve and be kind will increase their self-esteem, empathy and interpersonal skills. During difficult and stressful times, taking positive action is empowering and gives children a sense of control. Seeking those who need help draws us out of our own world and we can learn of others' difficulties, cultures, and countries. When children help our American soldiers they may come to realize how precious our own country is compared to other places in the world.
 



WAYS CHILDREN CAN HELP SOLDIERS:


     
    WAYS YOU CAN HELP CHILDREN WHO HAVE LOVED ONES SERVING:



    If you are not sure if an agency is legitimate, see U.S. Troops: Ways to Support - all verified by the United States Department of Defense.




    Our project this year is to have the primary children at church write letters or draw pictures for soldiers. I explained a little about what soldiers do and how they protect our freedoms and help other countries have more freedoms. Some children had family members serving or previously served and they had a chance to shine as they talked about their father or relative. I answered their questions and a child explained how her class had sent packages to soldiers. Then I asked them to draw happy pictures. 




    A happy clown.

    Also, some profit from sales of my books during the month of November will go to buy phone cards for soldiers. And we'll recycle our old phones for Operation Gratitude. Click to print a Free Shipping Label. 

    I would like to express my gratitude for our American solders. My husband, brothers, father and many family members and ancestors have served in our nation's military - helping to obtain, protect and preserve the freedoms we experience in America.  I was fortunate that relatives researched our ancestors back to John Allen and Myles Standish - Captain of the Mayflower. Perhaps that is why I feel so patriotic and protective our our country. I deeply appreciate our heroes willing to sacrifice and serve.



    You might be interested in my post ARK: Acts of Random Kindness for Kids and Adults with Free Printables with many ideas and agencies needing assistance. I'd love to have comments with more services to add - or learn of your experiences. Thank you so much.


    This is the land of the free,
    because it is the home of the brave.


    For a glimpse into Kindergarten see my book. Would you like inexpensive ideas, activities, and games to teach your child through play? Mommy with Selective Memory and I can help save your sanity, one project at a time, with The Happy Mommy Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide on Keeping Your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble and Motivated to Learn.  Both have been number 1 bestsellers on Amazon and make helpful gifts for parents and teachers.









     
    This post is part of a 21 Days of Gratitude Blog Hop. Click below to read some amazing posts on gratitude:

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    23 comments:

    1. Such a lovely post, Susan, with so many great ways to say thank you to our troops! My daughter and I did Holiday Mail for Heroes last year (and plan to again this year) and it was a great way to incorporate gratitude into our holiday activities. Thank you for these other ideas.

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      1. Thank you for mentioning Holiday Mail for Heroes. It is through the American Red Cross. Be sure and read the guidelines which are included in this link: http://www.redcross.org/support/get-involved/holiday-mail-for-heroes

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    2. Thank you for the Holiday Mail for Heroes idea. Your blog has so much to offer. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

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    3. You can also send cards to your love one ... use this Gratitude Challenge ... you'll love it ! :)

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      1. Manuel - Thank you so much for adding this. I did not know about it. Great!

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    4. We are so blessed to have amazing people serving our country. Thank you for the wonderful list of ways to let them know we care.

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      1. Thank you. I know you have family members serving overseas and our prayers are with our true heroes - helping to fight for freedom around the world and protect us here at home.

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    5. Wonderful ideas, Susan! Thanks for sharing so many great resources. I pinned your post to my Kids' Patriotic Activities Board at http://pinterest.com/debchitwood/kids-patriotic-activities-u-s/

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      1. Deb - Thank you so much. This is a great blog Hop - enjoyed your post too - wonderful ideas on teaching children to express gratitude.

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    6. What a great group of people for you to feature as deserving of our gratitude. Thank you for sharing this post.

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      1. Thank you for visiting. Your blog has many amazing ideas and I'm glad to find it.

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    7. Most definitely a group that we should thank! Great ideas! ~mari

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      1. Mari - thank you. I know veterans with PTSD and many other medical and mental issues from serving in the military. They deserve our support.

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    8. Holiday mail sounds like a brilliant initiative. I must look and see if there is something similar in the UK?

      Thanks for linking to the Sunday showcase.

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      1. You might like Operational International Child - I know they help children all over the world with school supplies. I'm not sure about how soldiers are helped in the UK but maybe if you google it, some organizations will pop up. It's good to verify if they are legitimate.

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    9. This is so awesome. My husband is in the Military and people who show such kindness amazes us. He is thankful for every thank you and kindness that is shown, although he would never admit this. Thank you for teaching this, and for linking up to tip-toe thru tuesday.

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      1. Christy - I am so happy to find your blogs. AMAZING. Thank you for your families sacrifices in the service. Our prayers are with you and your family.

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    10. I really like the adopt a soldier support organization. Also, have you seen coupons for soldiers? You can send your expired coupons in and they will give them to military families. The many of the PXes accept expired coupons! Some great ideas to include children. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

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      1. Tulip - I did not know about the coupons - great to know! I love your linky parties. Wonderful.

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    11. What wonderful ideas!! Thank you for sharing at Happy Family Times!

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      1. Thank you Carrie for visiting and commenting.

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    12. This is a great list of ways to give!

      You didn't really address, though, how you explain to children what soldiers are and what they do. Just after the Iraq war started, my cousin was deployed there, and as a Girl Scout leader I organized my troop to make a bunch of cards for him and his buddies. I was surprised to find that many of the girls (grades K-3) did not know there was a war happening and were kind of unclear on the whole concept--at least one thought soldiers were just in the olden days!! I did not attempt to explain why we were at war (knowing that different parents would have different takes on it!) but I told them that when people join the Armed Forces, they are promising to fight when the President says to fight. It's a scary job because they could get killed or hurt or see horrible things happen to other people. They are on the other side of the world far away from their families for months at a time. They may have to live in a tent with sand in their ears. They may be really hot or cold for days at a time. It's a tough job, so let's be grateful that they are doing it! My girls were so sympathetic and made a lot of sweet cards. :-)

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      1. Thank you Becca. When I had the children draw pictures, I did go into more detail about why were doing this project and answered their questions about soldiers. Some children had a knowledge of why we were doing this and others needed an explanation. Some had parents serving, or who had previously been in the military, and helped answer questions. Yes, you are right, it is important to address their questions and concerns. Thank you for commenting.

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