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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Make Your Kids Smile...Today and Tomorrow!

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Make Your Kids Smile...Today and Tomorrow!


Have you run out of ideas of what to do to make your kids feel really special? Or you find yourself doing the same old boring things, over and over? Take the time to re-connect with your kids and try these neat little ideas.

  • Get a little stuffed animal. This will be the "I LUV U" creature. Any family member can present it to any other family member....but the catch, is that it has to be without their knowledge. For example, if your child has had a rough day but knows he has to empty the dishwasher. Give him a break. Empty it for him and put the animal in the top tray so your son sees it when he opens the dishwasher door. The animal can show up in backpacks, on tops of beds, in the bathtub (but not in the catbox)...anywhere and anytime a family member needs to be reminded of your love for them! This is just another way to show it!
  • Since school has started, mom has been writing "Words of Wisdom" on their napkins, neatly folded in their lunchboxes. These notes have become so popular in just this past week, that everyone at the lunchtable eagerly awaits the message for the day.
    • Some quotes we have already used to get you started:
      • "You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar"
      • "The early bird gets the worm"
      • "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater"
      • "Fall seven times, stand up eight" - Japanese saying
      • "Don't look down on anyone unless you are helping them up" - Jesse Jackson
      • "Courage is about doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared." - Eddie Rickenbacker (WWI flying ace and Medal of Honor winner)
      • "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss
      • "Be yourself. An original is always worth more than a copy."
      • "Nobody will think you're somebody if you don't think so yourself." - African-American proverb
      • "If you want to accomplish anything in life, you can't just sit back and hope it will happen. You've got to make it happen." - Chuck Norris
    • When the kids get home, discuss with them what it all means. As long as you use age appropriate quotes (especially the funny ones), they'll feel special and love you for it
  • Instead of getting on their case when they screw up, how about noticing when they do a good job and praising them for it? Focus on the positive and reward them with words, hugs and/or kisses
  • I believe every child, as soon as they are walking and talking, should have some kind of chore, preferably, more than one. Things such as emptying the trash, clearing out the dishwasher, feeding the pet and setting the dinner table are just a few examples of chores that can be done by small to school age children. They should have a set allowance amount a week (a good guideline is half their age in dollars). If they do a chore above what is required of them, they can earn extra money. Have a chart that lists other chores and what they are worth in $$$. This also teaches children the basics of accounting, as they count their money. Encourage them to save a portion of their earnings, have them give about 10% at church (or to charity) and use the rest for treats now and then. If they want a big ticket item, then they must save up their spending money. My kids do not get any toys or kiddie purchases unless it is Easter, their birthday or Christmas. If they want something throughout the year, they must pay for it themselves!
  • Read with your child on a regular basis. I know many of you did this before your child could read, but you'd be amazed what gets talked about while you are cuddling up with your child, watching them read a book. We love to do this before bedtime. Make the time to do it tomorrow!
  • If you have more than one child, it's important for each of them to try to have "alone time" with one parent; plan an outing, a bike ride or even a trip to McDonald's. This is just another opportunity to make them feel special.
Do you have any interesting things you do with your child to make them feel special?

Read this article and many like it at Carnival of Family Life presented by Down with the Kids - Modern Australian Family Life.

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