Sunday, September 27, 2009

MWSA Award: Dealing With the Deployment Challenges Facing Children

The Military Writers Society of America ( award recipient in the category of Children’s Books are Minnesota authors Sara Jensen-Fritz, Paula Jones-Johnson and Thea L. Zizow. They will receive the Gold Medal Award from the MWSA for their children’s activity book “You and Your Military Hero: Building Positive Thinking Skills During Your Hero’s Deployment.”

The three authors are educational professionals with experience spanning from 19 to 25 years. The authors work with children ages 5-12 in the roles of school psychologist (Sara), school social worker (Paula) and speech pathologist/special education teacher (Thea).

Three years ago the authors created a private business -- UFLIPP, LLC -- with the mission of creating positive, innovative products for children. Their first project “You and Your Military Hero” reaches out to children with deployed loved ones. Their website is

You and Your Military Hero:

It is well-known that children in today’s world experience unique challenges that children even 10 years ago did not have. One of these challenges is dealing with a loved one’s deployment. We live in an area of the country where National Guard deployments are common place.

In our work with military children, we struggled to find a resource to help these children in the positive coping skill style that we find effective. As colleagues, we had been inspired for some time to create something original that would help children and make a difference in their lives. Our book You and Your Military Hero grew out of this inspiration.

You and Your Military Hero helps children ages 5-12 develop resiliency skills as they live through the challenging time of a loved one’s deployment. This book provides adult-guided learning opportunities for building positive coping skills in an easy, fun and systemized manner.

You and Your Military Hero is written in an easy-to-follow format so that any adult can guide a child through the activities. When a caring adult guides the child, the adult-child connection is strengthened and this also builds resilience. Children learn to cope with their “new” world in a positive way.

With consistent practice, the skills taught in You and Your Military Hero can become lifelong coping skills that will assist a child through many other challenging situations.

Let’s look at why today it is so difficult for kids to be kids:

Why is it that we see so many children growing up so fast and missing out on the enjoyment of childhood? The world has become increasingly fast-paced, especially in the area of technology, and in the process has hijacked many a childhood.

In our work with children over the years, we have observed a more and more frequent tendency for children to absorb the problems of the world and the adults around them. This is unfortunate, because a young child does not possess the experience nor the advanced cognitive development to solve such problems.

Oftentimes a child claims the problem as his/her own but then has no “tools” with which to navigate the problem and find solutions. This leads to frustration at the very least and, at worst, depression. Furthermore, a child’s worry and heartache over adult and/or world problems does absolutely nothing to eliminate the problems. It changes nothing.

However, as adults, we can help to create more happiness within children as well as appreciate the pure innocence that is their birthright. Children need to be encouraged to nourish their inner joy and be consistently reassured that the adults will handle the challenges in their own lives and do what they can to move toward a more positive world.

To help children access their inner happiness is our mission. We are UFLIPP, LLC, and children are our passion. Together our experience spans across almost three decades. As school psychologist (Sara), school social worker (Paula) and speech/language and special education teacher (Thea), we work every day to make children’s lives better.

Through our work we have found that children are not necessarily born with a positive attitude. However, children can learn how to become more positive. Both environment and heredity shape a child’s attitude.

Some children have a very challenging home life and still have a positive attitude, while other children seemingly have a good home life and have a negative attitude toward life’s challenges. In our experience, when children are helped to focus on positive solutions, they respond in a more positive way. They become more resilient.

Note: The Amazon link is an affiliate link.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION. She is also an Internet business consultant and the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio show

Phyllis' company provides Internet marketing training as well as social media marketing to promote your business more effectively.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very thoughtfull post on positivethinking. It should be very much helpfull.

Karim - Positive thinking