I want to take a moment and briefly interrupt the constant stream of fabulous inspiration that is so generously provided by my amazing media team, to share with you the start of something – it’s here local, but you have to start somewhere right?
As you might know, a little over 18 months ago, we lost our 16-year-old son Cory to suicide. And as you would guess, it’s impacted our lives and our family in a way that we are forever changed. Even as I type those words… I feel this tightness in my chest – and I still just can’t believe that this is part of my story.
Back when it happened, I remember not knowing how I would ever talk about this – or if I would ever be able to talk about it.
What’s interesting – is that as I started talking about Cory, his story… and my story… the most amazing thing happened… I have learned that I am not alone. That Cory was not alone. In fact, every week I receive emails and DM’s from many of you sharing your stories. Women stop me at Costco, or Target… at the airport and even this week at Disney’s Magic Kingdom… they stop to tell me “thank you” for sharing my story, and then proceed to share with me how and why my story has impacted their situation in one way or another.
Here’s what I know:
1. Parents everywhere are worried about their amazing children (of all ages), who are struggling in one way or another.
2. Kids (of all ages) are facing complex social challenges that they are not equipped to handle, and we are not prepared to help them.
3. Despite increased and abundant opportunity to be “connected” to those around us via many “social media platforms”, we all lack true /real CONNECTIONS which create social stability and belonging.
4. You have to start SOMEWHERE.
I think that because there is such a similar ‘thread’ that runs through the communications and conversations that I have with other parents in regard to the concerns about their kids, I feel a need to DO SOMETHING. There is a REAL need that exists, and I believe that as we talk about it, we can grow in understanding but also offer support, and solutions. AND at the very minimum we can CONNECT!
Based on those messages and conversations that I have regularly, as well as in meetings with school administration, police and fire personnel , coaches and others who work with youth directly… and my counselor who has been working with struggling/troubled youth and families for almost 2 decades… we all know that something has to change! And well – we have to start somewhere; sooner than later.
On March 15th, 2017 David Kozlowski, founder of Quit Tripn, and myself… with support of Unified Fire are holding a live gathering at the Fire Station in Herriman from 7-8:30 for parents and anyone who works with youth. It’s a FREE event. The title and focus of the evening is: “Being a first RESPONDER and not a first REACTOR”.
David and I are teaming up to share from both of our perspectives, some incredibly helpful tools for connecting with youth, and creating real RELATIONSHIPS.
Sometimes our first reactions to difficult situations aren’t the best responses! COME and be part of this first effort to create connections and LEARN how to make small changes in these critical interactions! I promise, you will be amazed at how much you can learn about yourself, and your kiddos in a small amount of time. You will feel LIGHTBULBS turning on! You will feel a COMFORT of knowing that you really aren’t the only one suffering… and you will leave with renewed ideas, tools and HOPE for building those relationships that are SO PRECIOUS to you as a parent, spouse, coach, teacher and leader.
I am so excited to have this opportunity. I am also scared out of my mind. BUT I KNOW, with all my heart that this is something that is so needed. We are so thankful to Unified Fire for letting us use their beautiful facility- this is what we promised them:
1. We have set up an event page – if you would like to come… click here and you will be redirected to where you can make a reservation. You can reserve up to 10 spots. BRING a friend, your spouse, people you serve or coach with. THIS IS TOTALLY FREE! But it is first come, first serve.
2. Parking is available either to the west of the Fire Station at the LDS church or across the street to the south at Providence Elementary School. Please don’t park at the Fire Station as we don’t want to prevent them from doing their job.
PLEASE COME: Unified Fire Station 123 4850 Patriot Ridge Dr. in Herriman
If you know someone that would benefit from this amazing opportunity, please tell them about it. I hope that we will be able to do this in more communities – and learn how to support and give parents TOOLS for working WITH their children. Feel free to share either of the above images, or my posts on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
I KNOW how freaking scary it is to not have any idea how to help your child. Whether you have an 8 year old son or a 22 year old daughter… this information WILL HELP you learn to be a FIRST RESPONDER rather than a first (over) reactor!