The start of the New Year is just around the corner and if you are like most people you are pondering what kind of changes you might like to see in yourself and in your family in the new year. If building a stronger, more resilient family is one of the goals on your list, then FOCUS has a way to help you. We have compiled resources from FOCUS World, our online education platform, and past issues of FOCUS Quarterly and shaped them into a 30 day calendar you can use to teach your family new skills and strengthen the ones you have.


Week 1:  Managing Feelings

Family Feeling Discussion

 Getting to Green

“Just Breathe” Video

Family Fun Night!

Week 2: Communication

Family Meeting

Practice Effective Communication

Family Calendar

Family Fun Night!

Week 3: Goals Setting and Problem Solving


Make Problem Solving a SNAP

Practice SNAP Method of Problem Solving

 Family Fun Night!

Week 4: Dealing with Deployment and Reintegration


Self-Care During Deployment

Reintegration Videos

Talking about Deployment and Reintegration

Family Fun Night!

Week  One: Managing Feelings

Day 4: Print  the Feeling Thermometer and Feeling Fox handouts  located in the Parent Study. During  dinner  discuss as a family  the  feelings that put each member in the different color zones of the thermometer.  Going forward you can use the colors as an easy way to talk with your children about how they are feeling. 

  • For example, the night before school starts following a  break you may ask your kids where they are on the Feeling Thermometer. Some children may be in the “Green Zone” because they feel comfortable, happy, or excited while other children may be in the  “Red Zone” and express feeling worried about their new hair cut or frustrated about their progress in math.

Day 5: Download and print the Things that Make Me Feel Better handout from the Parent Study and have a conversation with your family about different ways they can get back down to green when they are feeling upset (i.e.,  in the red, orange, or yellow zones).
Day 6: Watch the Just Breathe video in the Parent Study with your kids and then download the Deep Breathing handout to practice as a family. 
Day 7: Family fun night!



  • It is wonderful to spend time learning together, but it’s also important to spend time as a family having fun and enjoying each others’ company You can let each family member take turns choosing the activity for family fun night.

Week 2: Communication
Day 8: Use the How to Hold a Family Meeting handout in the Parent Study and the corresponding article in FOCUS Quarterly to hold your first official family meeting.
Day 9: Download the Effective Communication Skills handout and practice some of these strategies as a family.
Day 10: Have each member of the family go into Family Room of FOCUS World and create one or two memory trees.



  • Add pictures, notes, and their feelings to the tree so that other family members will be able to get a clear picture of their experience of the event.

Day 11: Have each family member go onto FOCUS World and add their pictures, notes, and feelings to the memories created by other family members.
Day 12: Lead a family meeting to discuss what everyone thought of their other family members’ memory trees.



  • This would also be a great time to view your family timeline which can give you a snapshot of your family’s feelings at different points in time and allow you to see all the ups and downs your family has gone through. This will help you see where your family strengths are, as well as provide ideas for future family goals.

  • The family timeline is also an excellent way to boost family communication, as it allows you to see how different family members can have different thoughts and feelings about the same event.

  • To get to the family timeline: go into the Family Room and click on the fox’s head in the upper right-hand corner

Day 13: Download the Family Calendar handout from the Parent Study and corresponding article from FOCUS Quarterly and use it to create your very own family calendar.
Day 14: Family fun night!
Week 3: Goal Setting and Problem Solving
Day 15: Download the SCORE handout from the Parent Study and have a family meeting about goal setting.
Day 16: Have each family member go on to the Kitchen in FOCUS World and create a goal for themselves.



  • You may have to help younger kids break their goal down into simpler steps.

Day 17: Review the goals each family member created on FOCUS World and put them up on the family calendar to help you keep track of when the steps are accomplished.
Day 18: Now that you have created individual goals, take a few minutes to sit down with the Family Goal Worksheet from the Parent Study and create a family wide goal.
Day 19: Hold a family meeting to talk about how you solve problems. Use the SNAP for kids handout from the Parent Study to teach the SNAP method of problem solving.
Day 20: Find a fairly easy family problem to practice using SNAP.
Day 21: Family fun night!
Week 4: Dealing with Deployment and Reintegration
Day 22: Read through the Deployment Tips handout.
Day 23: Watch the video in the Parent Study called, Talking to Kids When They are Worried, to learn  one way to help prepare kids for deployment.
Day 24: Watch the video in the Parent Study called, Helping Kids Understand Deployment, which talks about how to comfort kids when they are upset about deployment.
Day 25: Read the FOCUS Quarterly article, Deployment from a Spouse’ Perspective, and make plans for how you can make sure you keep yourself in the green during a deployment.
Day 26: Watch two videos in the Parent Study that deal with reintegration; Reintegration for Parents and Teens and Wrestling with Deployment Reminders
Day 27: Hold a family meeting to talk about how your deployment and reintegration affect your family.
Day 28: Congratulations! You completed your strong family resolution. Have a wonderful family fun night and don’t forget to practice everything you learned over the rest of the year.