In this month when we celebrate our country's
independence, consider bringing some joy to
American soldiers. Below are simple ways your family
can support the troops, as well as those whose lives
and communities are being affected by war. No matter
what your position is on the complex and difficult
issues related to war and peace, showing your
family's support and compassion will surely make a
Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
||Ways and Means to Bolster Troops
Make a Difference...
Put together school supply kits for Iraqi
Send a message to serving and veteran
Send care packages to marines serving in
Iraq    and Afghanistan
Collect books to send to soldiers
Host a fundraiser or drive for a veteran hospital landstuhlhospitalcareproject.org
Support organizations active in Iraq
humanitarian relief networkforgood.org
Lots of organizations have formed to bring support to
military persons and war-stricken citizens. Here are
some fun ways your family can get involved, along with
Photo: Books for Soldiers
||Considering Wartime Struggles
Talk About It...
Encourage your children to express their own
understanding, ideas and concerns about the wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan first. Then share your knowledge
of the issues, as well as your own beliefs and values,
but let them know that others may have different points
Be honest, but try to respond to your child's
questions and concerns in ways that are hopeful.
Emphasize the value of peaceful resolutions to
It is easy for stereotypes to be exaggerated during
times of war. Take time to point out our commonalities
with those from other countries and of different
cultures. Perhaps you have a personal story to share.
It's never too early to begin teaching tolerance.
War and military can be difficult topics to discuss with
your children, but as kids reach school-age, we can
no longer protect them from hearing about - and
having questions about -- these issues. How you
approach your conversation depends on the ages of
your children and your personal ideas and beliefs.
Here are some points to consider:
Learn About It...
The Impossible Patriotism Project by Linda
Skeers; illustrated by Ard Hoyt (Puffin, 2009). Ages
When the students at Caleb's school are assigned
to create projects about the true meaning of patriotism
for display during Parents' Night, Caleb is stumped.
However, when he begins to think about his father,
who is serving in the military overseas and will not be
able to attend Parents' Night, Caleb comes up with an
idea to honor his father and the rest of the troops.
Filled with whimsical illustrations and humor, The
Impossible Patriotism Project explains patriotism
in language children can understand, while
celebrating the bravery and sacrifices made by those
who have fought for our freedom.
Photo: The Impossible Patriotism Project
by Linda Skeers
"I like to see a man proud of the place in which he
lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be
proud of him."
||News From DGT
Our executive director, Jenny Friedman, provides
workshops and presentations on a variety of topics
related to family service and raising compassionate
children. If your parent group, PTA/PTO, civic
organization, faith community, corporation or nonprofit
agency is interested in having her speak, email us at
email@example.com. For more