Resiliency Matters – Teach It to Your Students Today


This week I appeared on “Resiliency Matters,” a television program hosted by Dr. Mollie Marti, CEO of the Community Resiliency Project.

The show appears in Iowa on Mediacom’s MC22 and is replayed often. It should also be hosted on the Community Resiliency Project website by the end of November.

These are the currently scheduled replays:

  • Thursday, November 7, at 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, November 10, at 11:00 am
  • Monday, November 11, at 5:00 pm.

Resiliency:  What it is and Why Does it Matter?

I want to “push” the definition just a bit. Most are familiar with relating resilience to  the capacity individuals and organizations have to cope with change and challenge, and to bounce back during difficult times

But I also believe in and speak to leaders and learners about “Bouncing Forward” - going beyond what the naysayers said, and saying back: I matter.

I am more than you say. I matter, and I am going to SHOW you just how much, and in the process, not only uplift myself but the naysayer who doubted.

Once we realize we have that power, it must become our responsibility to convey this, especially to young people.This is the essence of You Matter and the Choose2Matter movement.

We share with the universe all that exists within every one of us, in order to solve challenges that confront all of us.

Raising “RQ” – the Resiliency Quotient: What Parents and Schools Can Do


In our urgent attempt to prepare our children for unknown futures, we often forget to notice and honor who they are today.

Accepting our child fully, especially when they are not “living up” to what we think they can be, is challenging.

A key factor related to a child’s ability to become more resilient is the child’s ability to feel that he matters and has “everything you need to succeed.” There are many opportunities for parents to convey to children that they are loved and appreciated. One of the most powerful messages we can give is that we accept them for who they are.


Strength does not come from what you can do-it comes from overcoming the things you thought you couldn’t do

In essence are saying we don’t believe you are capable of.

In order to foster resilience, learners need to genuinely believe in their own potential. They need to know how to accurately assess their strengths and weakness, and adopt the practice of setting brave and bold goals.

A child’s sense of what and how they believe is directly related to how often the adults in that child’s life child’s life-a parent, a grandparent, a teacher-reassure him/her their belief in their abilities to succeed. There is a strong correlation between a child’s belief that he or she can work hard and do well, and his or her eventual success.


When you have something so precious to protect, it is easy to worry too much or hold on too tight.  As parents and teachers it our innate instinct and desire to protect our children from the pain and suffering the world is full of.

Yet, it is that behavior that proves the riskiest move we make.

As they grow, if we don’t give children a chance to struggle, to experience adversity, to feel pain….they are not going to get the chance to find out how very strong they are. Children must encounter adversity in order to realize their human potential.

As Aimee Mullins said in her brilliant Ted Talk, the question is not whether children will encounter adversity – but how they will deal with it.

Our goal is no longer to solve the problem or circumvent the struggle; it is to help them understand and discover how capable they are by having the experience of handling a challenge.

When kids realize that they are full partners in their learning and full participants in their own story of success; they will astound and amaze you, and themselves.

Resiliency in Action

Children don’t learn to read and write by wishing it; they learn to become readers and writers because they were taught.

In that same spirit, kids can and need to be taught the skills, strategies and behaviors that will help them become more resilient.

The good news is that we can start anytime.

In my research over the past decade, documenting the learning biographies of hundreds of resilient people ages 5 to 105 — I’ve discovered that great learners — research scientists, leaders, entrepreneurs, writers, professors, and activists — had very basic, identifiable components and habits of mind. that pushed them to keep going beyond insurmountable odds.

These great learners and leaders have what I call the Habitudes of Resiliency. These are a set of disciplined habits and a battle hard attitude to face all that comes their way.

Please see my Habitudes lessons,resources, and support materials that support these conversations in and out of school.

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  • Dr. Rob Martinez

    Great message! I have focused on the aspects of Transformational Resiliency, which I define as as the “growth development and strengthening of a child’s personal resiliency as a result of being provided an engaging, positive, thoughtful, supportive educational environment.” My belief and approach is designed at supporting each child’s ability to grow their own resiliency, focused on building capacity for each parent and guardian as they raise children, enhancing the skills of all of our educators and educational support providers, and by helping our educational institutions with developing an understanding of their greater responsibility to support the development of resiliency for all stakeholders.

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  • drmolliemarti

    Angela – it was a joy to have you on my show! You have such a wealth of information to share with your ABC’s of resiliency building and beyond. Mix in the relentless passion you have for this work and our time together was just plain FUN! :)

    Thank you for helping us empower parents, teachers, and youth builders to strengthen themselves and our kids!

  • drmolliemarti

    Great work Dr. Rob! Looking forward to connecting and learning more. Let me know if you ever travel through Iowa – would love to have you as a guest on my Resiliency Matters show!

  • Jugar Jugar

    It’s great when you share useful information so we really appreciate and see that it is useful.

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