It’s Veteran’s Day: If I Have To Tell You One More Time…

Nov. 11, 2011 As schools let out for the Friday Veteran’s Day holiday, I double-dog dare you to ask each child why they get the day off and submit the answers here for a positive parenting prize…

…The helpful new book by Amy McCready, “If I Have to Tell You One More Time…”

Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, author McCready is partnering with Blue Star Families, a fabulous resource site ‘by military families, FOR military families’, and she’s donating an online training course to a deserving military family for every book sold, which fits our own compass for using media and marketing for positive change nicely.

Why a positive parenting book instead of myriad other red, white and blue Veteran’s Day commercial branding tie-ins? What better way to honor service families than uplifting and inspiring parent education to ditch the drill Sargent routine with 23 tools authored by a “recovering yeller?”

Doesn’t get much more stressful than having a loved one serving in Afghanistan or Iraq while raising kids in the trenches of media and marketing crosshairs…so navigating some of the most stressed out scenarios in child-rearing with cool, collected aplomb seems like quite a worthy goal for “Pay it Forward Parenting.”

I’ll add that as the parent of a teen who has selective hearing at times, I requested her book as a personal pick, and in keeping with Shaping Youth’s ‘pass through policy’ of NOT accepting freebies, it’s now up for grabs to be yours.

Much like my post on The Attention Factor by Alice Aspen March, McCready’s book draws upon Adlerian psychology, to flip the power plays into positive rather than negative attention and give more rather than less ‘control’ to earn mutual respect in a win-win by correcting behaviors on both sides of the youth/adult age spectrum grating on your last nerves.

If you’ve ever heard, “gah, I said I would, just a sec, sheesh…just chill out” complete with eyerolling harumpf, three hours AFTER making xyz banal request, then you know what I’m talking about…

If you’re in need of bribe-be-gone and need to flip constant negotiations, pester power, and incessant badgering and whining into peace and mutuality, then this book is like the cavalry coming over the hill to back up a world-weary warrior on the frontlines under heavy fire. (she even uses ‘what to say/how to say it’ examples to check yourself and shed light on your own subconscious style of struggles with communication)

With the holidays around the corner and 17 billion spent on media and marketing to kids annually, it’s not your imagination how some of these behavioral cues get triggered, (see CCFC’s excellent fact sheet on marketing to kids) so it’s not a stretch to consider “If I have to tell you one more time…” could easily enter into your parenting lexicon…

Materialism and stress from vapid values proliferating media and marketing in pop culture have given rise to many a “where did s/he learn THAT” mumblings about ‘brattitude’…

Amy McCready’s book includes chapters with solutions-based thinking including: Using What You Can Control To Manage What You Can’t, The Power and the Struggle (and some solutions), The Positive Side of Misbehavior, The Four Mistaken Goals of Misbehavior, etc.

Tying back into Veteran’s Day and the author’s mission to support Blue Star military families, I thought I’d add a few more interesting deployments of cause-marketing into the childrens’ sphere that results in a win-win for kids and families universally.

This round-up of cause-marketing for veterans and this article from the American Institute of Philanthropy rating veterans’ charities and the spending of donor dollars  is a media literacy must.  Then there are also sites like that give you a glimpse of active duty branding perks and partnerships that civilians rarely hear about.

For educators, don’t miss this great lesson plan on NYTLearning blog, “Mission Accomplishment: Exploring Veterans Challenges and Achievements” that poses some great media literacy questions to uncork dialogue with openness and respect for all.

Here are a few co-branded picks for 11-11-11.

Veteran’s Day: Tried and True Alliances for Families:

1.) Sesame Street has a fabulously well-written socio-emotional learning program called Talk, Listen, Connect to help  military families with life changes, from children handling grief and leaving friends to death, divorce, and deployment– See related veterans posts where I’ve mentioned this program with video clips at the end in the links list…

2.) Sears continues its retrofitting projects for disabled veterans and their families to continue to play and stay together accommodating to accessibility issues and special needs from wheelchair ramps and widening of doors and shower stalls in their Heroes At Home partnership with Rebuilding Together

New, Of Note:

3.) Five Point Snacks has launched a bold (some might say brazen, we’ll see how the numbers and transparency gel for true value) social media mission with a Madison Avenue media flair, using clever cause-marketing munchies that “donate 11% (get it? Nov 11?) to an organization called the Veterans Aid Foundation. (who? not on my little donor literacy cheat sheet)

According to this NYTimes article, they also plan to hire veterans to build the start-up company’s sales force, so it’s a ‘triple bottom line’ interplay, complete with packaging positioning and wordplay reminiscent of my own ad agency days. (e.g. like “GI Crunches” and “Sailor Knots” to sell packaged goods like crisps and pretzels)

Families with kids will no doubt eat this up for ‘team snacks’ on military bases and distribution en masse from places like BJ Wholesale Club and big box retailers if they have government procurement rights at the BX and in military vending machines…I could see them flying off shelves at certain events and if the cause-marketing is pure, (and if they taste good, and are relatively healthy in the uber-competitive snack aisle) it could be an easy win for veterans and their families…all TBD.


4.) The Wounded Warrior Project is not ‘new’ per se, but is teaming anew with multiple brands including Under Armour, and their own Believe In Heroes brand, to put forth messages of healing inside and out (mind, body, economic development, engagement to combat PTSD, and promote peer to peer mentoring, wellness and outreach)

I’ve seen their names pop up with cause-marketing aligned in arenas from brick and mortar retail venues (we have a local shop here in San Mateo called Living Peacefully that sells peace products to benefit the WWP mission) to online Twitter/social media campaigns, a few of which are mentioned on their own site. Definitely one to watch, they seem to be everywhere.

How will you honor service personnel, or will you? I’m reprising this piece I wrote about why it feels like Veteran’s Day should ONLY be for Veterans and their families. The rest of us could then SEE much more readily where to direct our thanks.

What will you do on 11-11-11?

Hug a solider, donate to a cause, read a children’s picture book together like “Playing War” which poignantly captures the toll of war on the psyche through the PTSD lens of a child from a war-torn region?

I’ll be lighting a candle for peace, hoping you’ll share this post and leave that comment about what kids think Veteran’s Day is all about. One week ‘til the book drawing. Snap to attention!

Remember…All you need to do to put yourself in the running for Amy McCready’s book (military families get priority, so please mention same in the comments) is to tell me how you’ve heard K-12 children describe Veteran’s Day and explain why they get the holiday from school. Period. That’s it. I’ll draw names in a week for the winner.

Veteran’s Day Resource Roundup: by Amy Jussel, Shaping Youth

Veteran’s Day/Girls Inc: Kids Speak About Military Family Life

The War Play Dilemma (& Online Gaming Stats)

Shouldn’t Veterans Day Be Only For Veterans?

Virtual Healing: War Torn Teens Face Reality Post Iraq Duty

MyVetwork: Connecting the Digital Dots (for veterans globally!)

Veterans Day/Memorial Day Are Not Mattress Sales

Narada Michael Walden: Grammy Winner Uses Music to Uplift the Heart

Women & the Military: MyVetwork for Service/Support

Celebrity Starpower to Benefit Urban Battlefields

Resources on War/Peace/Play & Educators on Tough Subjects

New! Kidlutions Rscs: Supporting Infants/Toddlers Deployment


The War Play Dilemma: What Every Parent & Teacher Needs to Know by Diane Levin, Nancy Carlsson-Paige

War and superhero play: 5 pp pdf: “Meeting children’s needs in violent times” (Lion &

Reach and Teach: Peace/social justice: games, books, activities

Marketing and Media Violence: CCFC Fact Sheet

Looking at The War Through A Media Lens (Media Literacy Clearinghouse)

Talking With Kids About Tough Subjects:

Random Resources for Veteran’s Day


New! 11-11-11:  Family of Heroes game: Virtual Help/Veterans

Upcoming film: When Jane & Johnny Come Marching Homeless

Brats: Our Journey Home (docu/Donna Musil, growing up military)

History Channel: Take A Veteran to School Day

Ken Burns’ “The War” w/VHP & PBS

Top 10 Anti-War Films (

Top 50 War Films (IMBD) Schindler’s List #1

Flags of Our Fathers


VA Kids: K-5, 6-12, Teachers

VA ‘Lessons of Liberty’

VA video: Jennifer Love Hewitt: Action Steps/Volunteering

Veteran’s History Project, Library of Congress

Celebrating America’s Freedoms: (Customs, Symbols, Icons, etc.)


Soldier Care Package Ideas

Treats for Troops (largest index of military blogs)

The Golden Rules of Care Packages (funny business)

Operation Gratitude

Operation USO Care Package

Kids’ Veteran’s Day Activities, Crafts, Poetry, Word Search/Reading List


Enchanted Learning/Easy Kids’ Crafts

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier/Fact Quiz

Cybersleuth Kids’ Internet Search guide for K-12/Veteran’s Day Sites

This post is dedicated to my father, Capt. A.R. Jussel, USN Retired, and my mother Beth R. Jussel, USN Military Wife of 60 years (never retired!) 



  1. I asked a freshman at a high school on a military base in Korea and she said she was going to read the Book: The Long Road Home: One Step at a Time. A Doonesbury Book by G.B. Trudeau.
    She said it tells the story of a person (BD) who struggled with a war injury very much like her Dad did. She had a great experience at Fisher House when her Dad was recovering and is happy that Gary Trudeau shows the good work they do. She wanted me to say if people want to help out they can volunteer at a Fisher House near them or give frequent flyer miles or donate money to build more Fisher Houses.

  2. The other day a man and his adorable little daughter came into the shop. He wanted to post an ad for a wrestling match that was coming up at the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) down the street. When he told me about the match, I asked if he was a vet and he said yes. I then asked if he needed and was getting help from the VA. It had taken him four years to get rated as partly disabled. Four years. He’d had to wait that long to get the services and financial assistance he deserved. My 85 year old father gets 100% of his health care from the VA and also gets a pension. The VA is fantastic, once you are accepted. I know the quality of care/service depends on where you are and whether you have a strong advocate working on your behalf. I’ve been my father’s advocate for five years now. It is a lot of work, but the benefits are worth every minute of effort.

    So, today, in addition to getting our booth ready for the Green Festival in San Francisco, I’ll be thinking of all our veterans AND the people at the VA. With our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq winding down in the next two years, tens of thousands of military folks will be returning to civilian life. The VA and our communities will have a lot of work to do to help them AND their families.

    Thanks, Amy, for sharing news about this book. Perhaps every time a parent employs skills learned from that book he or she can also take a moment to think of a veteran, and keep their eyes open for ways to help the hundreds of thousands of veterans in our country. You never know… a veteran can be sitting right next to you on the bus, or tying a comment to a blog post…….

  3. Steve Richards says

    Sighs… Military families DO have have some unique challenges owing to dads and moms deploying in and out of warzones of various levels of jeopardy, and also relating to one another in ways that shouldn’t and can’t be modeled after the military chain of command. I’m the child of such a family and we negotiated it fairly well, though I’m sure my father took the brunt of the punishment by his constant efforts to protect us from the harsh realities in which he lived. I know he, and we all suffered from that. How much better would it have been for him to let us see those things, and worked with us using skills like those you mention are found in the McCready book. Life CAN be tough, and it’s not too much to think everybody in a family, military-stressed or otherwise, can work together, especially when parents are smart, savvy and willing to engage for the good of all. Not sure if that was your point, but that’s how it bounced off me, this Veterans Day. Nice reminder, Amy.

  4. Deanna Maertz says

    My children, grade 1 & 2, said that today is the day to remember people in the army who died fighting in wars. That is so awesome that the school does such a good job of teaching what Remembrance Day is about! I think it’s right on for their age group! We’ll have to work on there being other areas of the military, though!

  5. Thanks all for the great comments. Betty, that’s a great point on Fisher House, appreciate you sharing it and will check out the book referral…Craig, as always, your peace and social justice work empathetically crosses all spheres…Steve, that ‘stuffing it’ portion of bearing the brunt is an impt element as it relates to PTSD too, so thanks for mentioning it…And Deanna…you’re the only one who specifically gave the K-12 ‘what did kids say’ feedback so since it’s “drawing day” I’d say you won the book…pls send me a note for where to send it to you via email: amy at shapingyouth dot org 🙂

  6. Dear Amy, Thank you for this great post with so many very useful links. I am a veteran, and am the wife and daughter of veterans. So, it was natural for me to write a book about a military family, and the highlight of the story occurs on – yes, you guessed it – Veterans Day. I talk to many students, and I am encouraged by their interest in the military and veterans today. Thank you for taking the time to honor veterans and their families.

  7. For some reason my last reply ended up in the spam folder (how can I spam my own blog?) but thank you Valerie, for taking the time to leave a note…would love to hear more of your book and your work, as a fellow milfam/NavyJr…Appreciate you taking the time to leave a note…All the best, Amy

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