A Special Message On Resiliency
By Admiral James Winnefeld
Governor Gary Herbert has declared May 2020 Resilient Utah Month.
A Special Message On Resiliency
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Courage is not the strength to go on, it is going on when you don’t have the strength.” He knew from personal and professional experience that life is a series of challenges that must be overcome despite enormous setbacks. Perhaps his signature quality was resilience. Resilience is critically important because we will face adversity throughout our lives. How we overcome adversity, more than the actual nature of the diversity itself, prepares us for the future. This is especially true for our children.
Over the last several months, Americans have faced a raft of adversities. Some have lost jobs; too many have lost a loved one to the scourge of COVID-19. High school and college students graduating in 2020 have experienced a unique type of loss: the customary rites of passage associated with the shared joy accompanying the transition to a new phase of life. Being trapped inside their homes, separated from friends and extended families, has only amplified the challenge. The key to overcoming this pain is to help our young men and women challenge this adversity, turning it into purpose while keeping it all in perspective. This unique time in our history is an opportunity to genuinely care for our families’ well-being and to give even greater attention to helping our children develop the building blocks needed to thrive. Take this time to have meaningful conversations with your kids. Stay positive in your messaging. Point out that, for most of us, things could be much worse. Encourage them to do at least one thing each day to improve themselves mentally, morally, or physically. Every day is a chance to turn pain into purpose, to teach, and to reach others.
By definition, resilient people recover faster from adversity. Knowing these sad times will pass, their positive outlook lends them more energy. They foster greater hope, treating challenges as an opportunity to grow instead of descending into depression and despair, and they spread that optimism to those around them. They avoid self-pity, realizing things could be worse. Having solved difficult problems on the path to resiliency in the first place, they take imaginative approaches to overcoming the obstacles in their path. They embrace humility, knowing that so much is beyond their control. We should all strive for these qualities.
As the co-founders of SAFE Project, my wife Mary and I overcame the horrible loss of a loved one to try to make a difference in the epidemic of addiction fatalities across our nation. We join Governor Gary Herbert to support Utah Resiliency Month. While this is a time of transition, separation, love, anxiety, and excitement for our fantastic young people, it can be a time fraught with risk, mourning, and change. So, as the days count down for this year’s crop of seniors to attend their Tic Tok proms, Zoom graduations, and other virtual events planned this month, we say congratulations! Look up! We’re proud of your willingness to embrace a changing world, and we honor your grit, hard work, and ability to endure. Stay hopeful and continue to be resilient.
Resiliency Matters - Part 2
By Barbara Smith, Director, Utah Family Partnership Network
Building resilience in our children is critical. They not only need these skills now but they will need them as they face the challenges they encounter in the future. This is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children. In continuation to Resiliency Matters Part 1 in Parent Packet #1, here are additional strategic actions parent can take to increase their children’s resiliency.
6. Build Strong Relationships. To be resilient, children need to know that the adults in their world have their best interest at heart. Having a caring adult in their lives gives children the opportunity to develop the skills they need to cope with stress. Let them know that you believe they have what it takes to cope with challenges that come their way.
7. Listen. Listen to your children, don’t try to jump in and solve the problem. Let them talk. The more they talk, the more ideas form and the closer they come to solving their problems.
8. Nurture Creativity. Problem solving often requires thinking outside the box-which is the definition of creativity. Encouraging creativity and incorporating it into the activities your children participate in will make them more confident of trying unique ideas to cope with stress and challenges. Help them discover there is often more than one way to approach challenges.
9. Let Them Know They are Capable. We all want to be good at something, but it takes practice and patience. As your children get better at a task note their improvement and compliment them on mastering a skill. Let them know you believe in them. Encourage them as they work through the process and tell them working hard on learning the new skill is as important as reaching it, and you know they can do it.
10. Attitude Matters. Resilient people are generally optimistic people. A child can be taught to be more optimistic by being reminded of the positive that can be found in most situations. If your child seems to always see the negative side of things, acknowledge what they are feeling and then show them other ways to look at it. Often a disappointment can lead to new doors being opened.
Resilient children are not afraid of taking on a challenge or becoming devastated because something didn’t go their way. They believe they can handle the problem and if not, they have supportive adults in their lives who will help them if they need it. They see their world as full of possibilities and not barriers. Resilient children can dream a dream and believe they can make it come true.
Uplift Families is the Initiative of First Lady of Utah Jeanette Herbert
“A Dedication to the Class of 2020”
This Is Your Time
By Steve James ©2020
You’re not forgotten
We see you shine
We feel your power
This is your time
The world awaits you
With open arms
Embrace the future
Reach for the stars
We hear your voices
Calling from home
Our hearts are with you
You’re not alone
Though things are different
Your moment changed
Out of the distance
New memories made
You are resilient
You rise above
Made even stronger
Lifted by love
Now you’ve created
Your own design
This is your time