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  • Kate Bender, APRN

Times Are Tough

Written By Kate Bender, APRN

The Resilient Generation

We are a little sick of hearing “these are unprecedented times,” but it’s true. My grandparents were part of the Greatest Generation. A generation known for overcoming great obstacles with true grit. They lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Times were tough then too, but adversity builds resilience. Resilience is the capacity to quickly recover from difficulties. It is toughness.

Today, we have plenty of adversity. The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact are hard to escape. I rarely have a conversation where the topic does not inevitably move to COVID-19. Life’s pleasurable distractions are not the same. You need to worry about masks, social distancing, hand washing and air circulation.

As an adult nurse practitioner, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on my work, but its influence seeps into my home life too. I have two young children, and I worry about the repercussions of this world on their long-term well-being. Kids’ lives have been turned upside down just like adults because of COVID-19. This pandemic is affecting their education, socialization, opportunities for sports & extra-curricular activities, and their mental health.

As a mom, pre-COVID, I would occasionally go to talks about parenting. I remember attending one particular talk by Lauren Drago, LMHC, LPC at my child’s preschool where she pointed out that every time we say no to our kids, it builds their resilience. I have never been a parent afraid to tell my children no, but I did it with some guilt. When I would tell them no, I sometimes felt like I was depriving them. Lauren’s talk gave me permission to say “no” to my children without the guilt. It was an ah-ha moment for me.  Growing up, when I was told no, I either moved on (because it was not that important), or I would double down and work toward my desired goal. That is how we build resilience. We suffer, and with that suffering, we grow. It’s like the fact that we learn more from our mistakes than when we get things perfectly right on the first try.

As parents, we want to raise well-rounded, self-sufficient, considerate, intelligent members of society. It’s not easy. With the challenges of life in the time of COVID, it is harder than ever. Our kids are suffering and that is hard to watch, but they are also learning. By teaching our kids to wear a mask, we make them better more compassionate citizens. Masks are not just for ourselves, but also to protect those around us.

With love, support and kindness, our children recover from setbacks. Having their developmental years during these extraordinary times may make our kids a more creative, tech savvy and resilient group of adults than we have ever seen. Overcoming the hardships they faced is what made the Greatest Generation great. Only time will tell, but I believe we are raising the Resilient Generation, and they will lead unprecedented lives.



Kate Bender, APRN is a Health Advocate in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, and helps clients along the shoreline and the United States. Find more information about how Kate helps at www.veahealthconsulting.com.

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