More Than Words

More Than Words is an initiative of the United Way of Whitewater Valley which seeks to bring together schools, businesses, and community organizations around the common language of a value word and application every month.

I found what I wrote about patience a few years ago, and it applies now more than ever, so I'll share it with you again. We've shown patience for a year during the pandemic, so we may not be in the mood to hear much more about it. I get that. But when I reread this, I was reminded of how often we have to show patience, and how often our kids do as well, and the fact that although we are "over it" now, it will have helped us in the end. Maybe this month is a time to celebrate patience when we see it, acknowledge that we have been showing it, and recognize that all of our levels of patience may be a little low. We can emphasize the "why" behind patience and see how this year of waiting until later has been a year of growth for us all.

This month, we're focusing on PATIENCE: waiting until later for what you want now. This one is tough for most of us, including me. Waiting in line, waiting for a delivery, waiting for a phone call, waiting for someone to arrive, waiting, waiting, waiting! In a Netflix, Amazon Prime, drive-thru world, waiting seems even more difficult.

However, according to research, it could be one of the most important skills in our lives. Author and speaker James Clear posts a great article about delaying gratification with links to a lot of research (, including this as it relates to our impact on children:

"...the child's ability to delay gratification and display self-control was not a predetermined trait, but rather was impacted by the experiences and environment that surrounded them. In fact, the effects of the environment were almost instantaneous. Just a few minutes of reliable or unreliable experiences were enough to push the actions of each child in one direction or another."

and this advice we can apply in our adult lives:

"The studies above do make one thing clear: if you want to succeed at something, at some point you will need to find the ability to be disciplined and take action instead of becoming distracted and doing what's easy. Success in nearly every field requires you to ignore doing something easier (delaying gratification) in favor of doing something harder..."

In other words, don't shrug this one off. Whether you work with kids in our community or you work with their parents, find a way to have conversations about waiting, doing what's difficult, and creating new habits.



You show patience when you:

  • Wait without complaint in the grocery line with the young person bagging food ahead of you
  • Have a conversation with your family as you wait for your food to be prepared instead of checking your watch (or your phone!)
  • Set goals that are more than a few months away, and then do the work in the mean time to see them through

Monthly Files
Each bubble holds all the files needed to learn and grow in this months word. This month, schools please email to sign up for the whole curriculum.

Click HERE for our YouTube page to see the monthly elementary videos


Click HERE for our YouTube page to see our monthly workplace skills series for middle schoolers


Click HERE for the Big Idea Experience monthly show for preschool and elementary kids

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