1001 Tips for Military Families - Tip #469

The Kindness Challenge

If you are anything like me, December is spent in a mad dash to buy things for people that I hope they will like and will show them I care.  However, I think that the Grinch had a serious “Ah Ha” moment when he discovered that Christmas isn’t from a store or in a box.  In fact, this was the inspiration for the December challenge.  Rather than the focus just on buying and wrapping, lining up and getting generally frazzled just trying to find a parking space at the mall - I will do that but… I wanted us to focus on being good to ourselves and each other too.  If you are posted somewhere without family and a lot of friends, have someone on a deployment, etc. this is a good way to refocus you too!

Click Here for our December Kindness Challenge Calendar: December Kindness Challenge

Kindness Challenge


Alter it to suit your family and feel free to share yours too!  Good luck and I hope your December is filled with a little more kindness and family fun and less having to follow someone with shopping bags leaving the mall to get a parking space.

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1001 Tips for Military Families - Tip # 422

Resiliency & PTSD - Tip #422

It is easy to get consumed with our own lives, I do it constantly.  I forget that everyone has their own challenges, dramas and stresses. This is much the same when you or someone you love is struggling with PTSD.  I am not, for a minute, suggesting that you take on other people’s stresses and drama.  I am, however, suggesting that one of the best ways to make yourself feel better is to do a few small things each day for other people.  There are a lot of people and organizations talking a lot about resiliency but I believe that you can become more resilient by reaching out to others, losing yourself (if only for a few minutes) in some small task, feeling good about something you can accomplish for someone else and just getting outside of your own world.  My challenge to you all is to take the list below and over the next 7 days complete as many as you can.  Challenge your family and friends to complete the list as well.


* Clean up someone’s mess

* Leave a note for someone telling them how great you think they are

* Hide a little money in the pocket of someone you love

* Buy or make a fancy dessert

* Take someone, who is having a rough time, a coffee

* Send an email to someone that you have been out of touch with and tell them you missed them

* Give an anonymous donation

* Volunteer an hour of your time

* Take a neighbor’s garbage out/in

* Be the first to apologize

* Compliment a stranger

* Tell a parent or child why they are so important to you

* Make someone laugh until they are nearly crying

* Donate to a charity

* Go for a bike ride or walk with someone

For more information about our tips, books and resources go to:  www.WhileYouWereAway.org

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More tips for the tips for Military Families - Tip # 71

Give Compliments - Tip #71

Genuine compliments are not as common as they should be.  Giving and recieving them is a skill.  In my, sometimes fast paced, life I forget to stop and smell the roses and then tell the gardener what a great job they are doing with their roses!  I stop to smell them but it is the next step that I think many of us forget - myself especially.  Your kids will appreciate hearing genuine compliments from you even if you have said them before or you think it is something that they already should know.  Assume nothing when it comes to your children’s self confidence and remember that when a family member is away they will need twice as many from you.

On the flip side, I take little to no time to compliment myself.  When my husband is away I go into single parent mode, re-arrange schedules, make myself more available to my kids, help with homework, work full time, make costumes, lunches, fill out school forms and agendas, call teachers, read stories, do groceries, etc.  The fact is that I feel as though I can’t say “Yeah, Me!”.  I am certain that many of us don’t feel comfortable giving ourselves compliments and when other people do it we brush them off as not being a big deal.  When you are in a military family it is a big deal and I truly believe we deserve the compliments.   Take time to compliment others and each time you do say something to yourself about an achievement or success and teach your children to do the same.

At the dinner table tonight (that’s right, make sure you eat together at the dinner table), go around the table and pay one compliment to each person at the table and finish with yourself.  The compliments don’t have to be huge but they do have to be meaningful and you should be able to provide an example or proof of why you feel the way you do.  Make this a weekly routine and you’ll be amazed at how good you feel and how pleased your children are with themselves.  Below is a sheet that you could create together as a family and complete each week.

Chart from: http://www.kindovermatter.com

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