BELLE GLADE, Fla. – During this unique time in history, it is important to stick to the facts when speaking to one another, and especially the young minds of today.
“The world’s greatest leaders and progressive thinkers have always used the power of words to transform our emotions to help inspire others toward their vision and create actionable change. From Winston Churchill’s focus on the “finest hour” to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s depiction of a “dream,” it’s evident that words shape our entire existence.” – Tony Robbins
Tony’s words are a reminder to remain mindful of our communication in a time of uncertainty through choosing to focus on what is certain.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published Talking With Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents, and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks as a useful resource for how we as adults can assist the youth of all ages experiencing this global pandemic alongside us. Additionally, Dr. Heidi Radunovich at the UF/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences published a brief presentation on Managing Stress During A Pandemic in which she provides meaningful data, strategies, and techniques for people of all ages.
4-H believes in equipping youth with the critical life skills essential in being successful in pursuing their goals and aspirations, one of which is effective communication. Studies show youth today will learn from and reflect the behaviors exhibited by trusted adults during this trying time.
Tips For Communicating With Youth
- Be Positive
Doing so will reinforce the value in youth that the healthiest course of action when facing a hardship, is to find a positive. Are several events canceled and youth forced to stay home? Several 4-H Programs (Including our own) are providing At Home With 4-H series’ designed to provide fun hands-on learning activities to keep youth active and mentally engaged.
- Avoid Speaking From Emotion
A perhaps inaccurate comment spoken when you are angry or upset might be taken as truth by an individual trying to deal with the uncertainty on their own end.
- Be A Good Example
We are fortunate to influence young people who will deal with their own hardships in life. How we deal with our own hardships will serve as an example of how they will deal with theirs.
Ultimately, UF/IFAS believes in the power of knowledge and practicing wisdom in unprecedented situations. Your UF/IFAS 4-H program in Palm Beach County is here for you during these difficult times, and we want to know how we can help. If interested, please visit our Palm Beach County 4-H Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube pages to remain up to date on the latest information and resources.