Nebraska Project WILD


Reason #3- Teaching Resiliency and Building Character January 23, 2015

Filed under: Character Building,January Prairie,Nebraska winters,Resiliency — projectwild @ 4:47 PM

Reason #3 of 5 Reasons I Pull My Kids Out the Door in Feels like -15 Degrees

Relative as an adjective is defined as ‘considered in relation or in proportion to something else.’    With the average Nebraskan keeping our homes heated hovering somewhere around 70 degrees, there is nothing that will make your house feel more cozy and warm then getting out and doing a little exploring in temperatures that are below our comfort zones.  It is this use of the relative that I employ in the hopes of raising up a couple of resilient boys.

Do I feel like getting up at 5 a.m. to feels like -15 degrees, or less, and walking a mile through a hay field in the dark with three dogs? NO. It sounds cool and adventurous but when the alarm goes off I have to employ a certain amount of will.  I have to prolong the instant gratification of my warm soft bed for the long term benefits of resiliency being created when I, or anyone, steps out of their comfort zone.  I want my kids to feel this.  I want my kids know what this is. So I listen with a smile on my face to any whining or complaining, I handle with patience and humor the struggle associated with getting a couple of kids geared up to go outside during the sub-zero cold snaps we get here in Nebraska.

My boys know how to dress for this kind of weather.  I barely need to help them these days. Maybe a reminder to cover their necks or the kind of hats they need to keep the wind out of their ears.  They know what to expect when they get out there, they may not like it and they may want to stay glued to the screen in their pajamas every Saturday all winter, but they know what a blast of arctic air does to a person’s nose hairs and they know how to prepare themselves for it.

Nothing can build character like a Nebraska winter.  I’m sure some old farmer has said this at least once.  This character building process doesn’t have to be back breaking work people.  My kids always have fun when I take them out on these cold days, ALWAYS.  They may not look forward to it. While we are out, there may be some tears shed or a quick retreat due to wet shoes and cold fingers but these moments are recollected by them with love and excitement.   They pushed through their comfort zones and saw what was on the other side…and they liked it.  Sometimes it’s so hard not to say, “I told ya so.”

Life is not always a sunny 75 degree day.  It’s inevitable that my children, your children, all of us will have struggles and lessons to learn in our lives. I think it’s how we handle these struggles, these cold harsh Nebraska winters, which truly define our character.  When life gets messy and uncomfortable the hope is my children will have these experiences that pushed them out of their comfort zone to draw ideas from.  Ideas they can use for solving a problem or knowing what it feels like to keep a level head, they may be more prepared.   And when the weather breaks and we get a 40 degree day in January, it won’t seem so bad coming out of feels like -15 degrees temperatures.  It’ll be a sunny warm day, and we’ll feel relief and be grateful.

Check back for Reason #4 of 5 Reasons I Pull My Kids Out the Door in Feels like -15 Degrees.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s