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The Tools to Persevere

Posted: April 15, 2020

By Heather Tyson, Healthcare Worker & Former Overcoming Obstacles Student

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As I sit back and listen to the song “We Are the World,” it takes on a very different meaning in our new world focused on social distancing. It takes coping skills to focus on the children as well as ourselves. Hearing someone sneeze can cause nervousness which makes it harder to find laugher in these unpredictable times. Just worrying about the stressful “what ifs” of coronavirus can break your body down.

I’m thankful to have been taught Overcoming Obstacles in my teenage years. The lessons I learned gave me the skill set I have needed even now as an adult to overcome the stress and immense challenges of this forever-changing world. As more schools are taking advantage of the Overcoming Obstacles free curriculum, it is important for parents to go to the organization’s website too, so they can find materials that will help them teach their children how to deal with the stress of these frightening times. The lessons on bullying and coping skills are needed now more than ever.

My heart goes out especially to the kids who have no positive role models at home. Some parents don’t know how to turn off the drinking and bad ways during these trying times. We can’t magically put ourselves in our children’s shoes, so being proactive in teaching life skills is vital. The invisible scars this virus is leaving on people’s minds is traumatizing. The social and emotional life skills lessons in the Overcoming Obstacles curriculum need to be implemented to help people be more assertive and less anxious and aggressive.

With the majority of students staying home now, we have to be flexible in dealing with social issues and give tools to keep teenagers healthy and happy. Anxiety can be overwhelming for teens dealing with cyberbullying, so learning tools to overcome this is necessary. Remember to keep doing activities such as exercising at home, talking on the phone or reading a good book.

It’s hard to fathom the new era that we are in. Healthcare workers have to struggle to breathe every shift through masks and teachers have to learn how to educate and inspire their students remotely. We have to keep on striving to make it through each day, and we can do this by teaching the Overcoming Obstacles lessons to our children—for educators the complete curriculum or the Life Skills Lessons for Remote Learning handbook, and for parents the Parent / Child Snapshots series. They will help our kids and remind us of the tools we need to keep our calm and persevere.

It’s the strength the Overcoming Obstacles curriculum gave me over 20 years ago that inspired me to put one foot in front of the other and to keep working in the healthcare field to this very day. I believe we can all help one another and overcome the challenges we are facing.


Overcoming Obstacles offers hundreds of free K-12 life skills lessons designed to prepare young people for all of the challenges life presents. It’s free now and forever and available for download by creating an account at overcomingobstacles.org.

Free Life Skills Lessons for Remote Learning

Overcoming Obstacles Life Skills Lessons for Remote Learning contains brief and engaging activities secondary school students can do while learning from home.

Download Here