Instilling Resiliency in our Kids “€“ With Bob Dees: Will our children be able to bounce back when tragedy strikes? As parents and grandparents, we must be more deliberate about teaching our kids how to navigate adversity to become better, stronger, and wiser. Tune in to hear how you can learn to recognize teachable moments and take advantage of them!

Air Date: 02/18/2020

Guest: General Bob Dees

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith and the Culture


Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is
WallBuilders Live. If you wonder what WallBuilders means: that comes out of
scripture in Nehemiah, arise and rebuild the walls that we may no longer be a
reproach. Yeah, if you don’t have those walls, you were destroyed as a nation.
It was required for the strength of a nation. Same thing today, you got to have
the right foundations, you got to have the right principles in place.

And so David Barton started WallBuilders several decades ago with
that very purpose in that calling in mind to rebuild the walls, to rebuild the
foundations, to rebuild the principles to put them back into the culture, put
those principles back in place that made America the greatest modern nation in
history. And I tell you, it’s, it’s having a huge impact. The number of people
that have ended up running for and serving an office or educating their family
or voting or getting involved because of WallBuilders has been phenomenal. So
we’re very thankful that the Lord has given our ministry a chance to have that
kind of impact and we thank you for coming alongside.

And being a part of that you can go to our website today at and even join the team in a greater way. You might want to
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Just to be Blunt”€¦

Just to be blunt, just to be really straightforward with you, this
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of all that by visiting our website today at

My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s
constitution coach and I am here with David Barton. He’s America’s premier
historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Tim Barton is with us. He’s a
national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders and all three of us
are very grateful that you’re listening today.

Alright, guys, we’re going to have General Bob Dees with us later
in the program. I’m really looking forward to this interview because I read the
article ahead of time, which I don’t always do my homework ahead of time. But I
did this time and so many great points, so many great pieces of advice for
parents and frankly, for all of us when it comes to building resilience, being
able to bounce back whenever things happen to us in life. So looking forward to
this interview

Rolling With the Punches


Yeah, he’s got a whole series on resilience, he’s got several
books written on this. He’s got curriculum on resilience. He actually at
Liberty University, they used him to design courses there. There’s a center on
resilience. Its resilience everywhere. And here’s the big deal, walk down the
street and ask somebody what resilience mean and see what answer you get. I’m
curious to what it would be. I’m not sure that there’s a good crisp definition
of that. As a matter of fact, I don’t even know that I have a good definition
of it.

So I went to the Thesaurus and I looked up synonyms for it. This
gives me pretty good pictures of it. Snapping back and I thought, oh, that’s
good. I understand snapping back. Rolling with the punches. I’ve got that one.
Rebounding, I understand what rebounding is. Elastic and quick to recover and
tough and supple and strong and buoyant. I get all those words a lot quicker
than I get resilient. So all of this series on resiliency is about being able to
snap back and roll with the punches and being able to recover quickly from
something that happens unexpectedly. And you know, that’s such a good concept
because in so many ways, we don’t handle hardships very well anymore. Right? We
went through a period of years that were talked about snowflakes and we’re not
talking that anymore. But it was the”€¦


And we kind of are talking that still.

The Need for Buoyancy


We get the product of it now. Maybe so much a part of the culture,
we don’t use the term as much. But the inability to bounce back, we would just
melt. We couldn’t bounce back. We weren’t resilient. We didn’t have buoyancy.
We weren’t elastic and quick. And that is a really tough characteristic to come
up with. And the more leisurely a country gets and the more comfortable it
gets, the harder it is to bounce back from adversity.

And one thing the Bible teaches is adversity will be part of our
life. There’s just no, those who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer
persecution, is what the Bible says. You’re going to face adversity if you’re
living the right way. And so how to bounce back and handle that is a tough
thing for a lot of people to learn.

And so General Dees really has put together a program on how to
teach this to your kids. Because I guarantee it the snowflake environment is
not teaching your kids how to bounce back. It”€™s teaching them how to be
offended and how to raise legal complaints and how to shut down a teacher who
won’t use the right pronouns. And there’s not this deal of bouncing back. And
so growing up in a culture that’s becoming less and less resilient, you have to
be more and more deliberate and starting to teach those characteristics to the


And so, Rick, we read this article about bounced back kind of kids
and what he’s doing there and thought, it would be a really good thing to talk
about. Because this applies not just to kids, this applies to adults as well.
And some of the examples he gave are good for any age in life, but this concept
of being resilient really is important.


Yeah, his material is fantastic, you know, not only applicable to
the lessons he learned in the military, but life in course he gives family
examples as well in the article, we”€™ll probably share those in the interview.
We’ve used his materials here at our house. And in Patriot Academy, we used it
with our scholar training the folks we had for six months and went through it
as well and it’s just great stuff. So we’re excited to have General Bob Dees
with us. Stay with us, folks, quick break. we’ll be right back on WallBuilders

A Moment from American History

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from
American history. The Reverend James Caldwell was a famous minister during the
American war for independence. His sermons taught liberty and God’s opposition
to tyranny. The British hated him and tried to kill him. So for his own
protection, he would actually take loaded pistols with him into the pulpit and
lay them beside his Bible as he preached.

In the 1780 battle in Springfield, the Americans ran out of
wanting for their guns, which was like having no ammunition. Pastor Caldwell
ran inside a nearby church and returned with an armload of Watts hymnals, the
pages of which would provide the much needed warning. He took this great Bible
based seminal raised it in the air and shouted to the troops, “€œNow put Watson
to them, boys.”€ This pastor”€™s ingenuity saved the day for the Americans.

For more information on pastor James Caldwell and other colonial
patriots, go to

Welcome General Bob Dees


Welcome back WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us today.
Our good friend, General Bob Dees, back with us. General, always good to have
you sir. Thanks for the time.


So well, likewise, Rick. Great to be with you and David.


Well, saw your article and typically, I see great material from
you. In fact, we use your material, some of our Patriot Academy students and
just love what you do and it’s typically for, you know, adults, our young
leaders. You had a great article talking about children and some of the tools
to have children who bounced. So we said, we got to get general on to talk
about this a lot of our listeners with those young kids at home. And I got
grandkids now, so I’m thinking about them. So appreciate you coming on and
talking about this.


Yeah, you bet. Well, we all need resilience, whether we’re in the
cradle or whether we’re getting close to the grave, for sure.


Amen. Amen. What you’re saying, if I understand you correctly, is
it’s never too early to start with this philosophy with your kids?


Exactly, exactly. Because what they learned in the small thing,
they will, you know, replicate when they get to the big issues of life and we
want them to have the right reflexes.


One of the things I love about your approach is you don’t wait
until that tragedy happens in your life to learn how to deal with it. To be
resilient, you got to prepare for this stuff ahead of time. And that’s really
what you’re doing it, here is instilling that in the kids from an early age.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure


You bet. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and we
need to get way upstream. And like I say, let’s develop the reflexes ahead of
time. And I’m afraid, Rick, as I look at our culture, we’re not developing
resilience, so perhaps the way we once did. And you’ve heard the term
snowflake, so we don’t want snowflakes as young adults and certainly we don’t
want to exit crack and can never be put back together again, either.


Well, let’s talk about your first point being intentional.
Because, you know, it does seem like I mean, I know we’re all so busy. And man,
I remember when our kids were in that toddler stage at a very young age and
life is just crazy and busy. But General, I can’t think of any more important
duty or responsibility we’ve been given than how we raise our kids. And that’s
something you’ve been on the biggest stages in the world in terms of military
and those areas. I mean, here we are talking to people on 300 stations across
the country right now. So we have all kinds of platforms, but nothing is more
important than our children and how we raise our children.


Amen. Amen. Well, I think we start with the Word of God, Rick and
being intentional, as I say, train up a child in the way he should go and even
when he is old, he will not depart from it. And so part of this being
intentional is to recognize that we are always training our children. In Korea,
on the DMZ, we used to say, “€˜Readiness never takes a day off on freedoms

Training is a Full-Time Job!

Well, when you’re a parent, training your child never takes a day off either. And as parents, we need to be looking for teachable moments. And teachable moments are those times when a child is brought to their senses through physical pain, through emotional pain, whatever a teachable moment it is, maybe they have a skinned knee, that is a cleverly disguised opportunity for helping our children or our grandchildren navigate adversity and get better, stronger, wiser.


And you got to be planning ahead again to do that, so you know how
you’ll respond in those things. What’s a good resource for people? Can they
take”€¦ I don’t know if you’ve done a kid’s version of your resilience materials,
have you?


Not a kid’s version, although some people have adapted it to
children’s programs at retreats and things like that. I think, you know, I’m
just so right now in Dallas, I’m taping a resilient coaching series of courses.
It’s a 30 hour series. One is coaching individual resilience. But the last one
is that is on coaching special interest group resilience. And a special
interest group is parenting. How do we parent to help grow resilient children?
And then also for teens and youth. How do they deal with bullying? How do they
deal with things? So pretty soon, I’ll have on the block 10 hour video series.
So some of those videos deal specifically with the issue we’re talking about.


Excellent. Excellent.

An Egg or a Tennis Ball?


I thought if I may, you mentioned grandchildren. I had a great
time with my grandchildren. You know, we would go to the beach for a number of
summers and have what we call “€˜Cousins Camp”€™. And so one summer, we did science
experiments, sort of resilience training intentionally. And I gave them eggs
and I convinced the young boys that if they threw an egg is hard enough, it
would bounce back to them. And so they were all in, the grandson said, oh,
yeah, D dad, give me an egg. And the granddaughters were looking at me like I
was halfway crazy. We all grab an egg, we smashed them and you know, we just
had scrambled eggs all over the deck of the floor there.

And then I said, oh, I guess D dad was wrong. I guess, maybe eggs
don’t bounce. And then I said, now go out into the yard. You have a tennis ball
hidden somewhere out there with your name on it and they all come I’m running
back with these tennis balls. And then obviously, we have the object lesson. It
says, “€œWould you rather be an egg or a tennis ball?”€ And they all say, we want
to be tennis balls, tell us how? And, you know, you go from there. So there’s a
lot of great object lessons, we use better lemons to eat, to talk about
forgiveness and bitterness, you know, getting that taste out of your mouth and
things. So object lessons and intentionality are very helpful.

Practicing Conflict Resolution


Well, that and you talk about that in the article too that
practicing conflict resolution and forgiveness being so important. That’s, you
know, we don’t usually think about that in the young years, being able to teach
them that. So how do you teach a young child conflict resolution?


Right. Right. Well, I think, first of all, it requires just an
objective approach. And you get the young child in front of you or with you and
you have to objectively determine what happened. And then as I say, the 10 most
powerful words in the human language are: I was wrong, I’m sorry, will you
forgive me? And so you, you start rehearsing that at the youngest possible age.
That when the child does something that is hurtful to someone else, they
learned the verbiage, they learned the concept of I was wrong, I’m sorry, will
you forgive me? And it’s a transaction.

You know, a lot of people say, I was wrong, I’m sorry. But then
there’s no closure of that transaction. And so the spirit of offense continues.
But if you say, will you forgive me and then in return, the person says, yes, I
forgive you and then you pray or you join hands or you go off to the playground
together, whatever it is, then the transactions complete and we need to teach
that intentionally to our kiddos.


Then there’s actual healing taking place. And you mentioned
keeping short accounts, that when you resolve that dispute, you know, you move
forward together. You don’t have what you call an emotional cut off with that
person. They can develop that habit early on, you know, when there’s conflict,
they just removed from the situation and have that emotional cut off.

Emotional Cut Offs


Right. And when you get through life and you become an adult and
that’s your practice, you know you just one emotional cut off after another,
then that translates into marriage. Okay, one divorce after another, one this,
one that after another. It becomes a very negative behavior over time.


You already mentioned it, but one of your main suggestions is
fleeing that spirit of offense. But we’re kind of in the, I want to be offended
all the time culture and looking for reasons to be offended. And you’re saying
from an early age, be really careful with this. Don’t train your children to
look for reason to be offended?


Yeah, that’s exactly right. We have to have pretty thick skin in
the vernacular. You know, I mentioned in there that vocabulary of trigger
warnings and microaggressions and safe spaces, you know that’s all just
rubbish. You know, that’s not what God would want. He would not want us to
carry a chip on our shoulder around life, just looking for the smallest little
thing from someone else that might be a reason for offence and then we, you
know, bombard them with all of our artillery because they’ve offended us. So as
it says in James, be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to get angry and
that is so important. And we need to practice it.


Yeah. Amen. Well, in fact, I’m literally as we’re talking right
now, General, grabbing the link to this article which is at and I’m grabbing the link and we’ve got a text with my
extended family as well.

Valuable Training Resources

And I’m sharing it with my entire family because there’s so much good here, so many things I wish I had known and implemented with my kids at a young age.

And I kind of got convicted as I was reading two of your
challenges. One teaching growth through adversity and challenging your
children, not removing all those obstacles. Because I think I probably did too
much of that. You know, we wanted, I don’t know that we want it to be easy on
our kids. In fact, that would probably, the wrong thing, sets them up for
failure. But I guess, we just think we’re loving them when we remove all those
obstacles. So how do you find that balance of giving us some challenges so that
they can learn how to overcome adversity?


I was listening to a wonderful podcast today, it was by Scott and
Tiffany Smiley. I don’t know if you know Scott Smiley, a wounded warrior
blinded it, just an incredible story of resilience. But she was talking about
raising her children, particularly in the environment where her father had been
blinded as a warrior and was recovering.

She said she was constantly looking for opportunities for her
children to fail. And you may think, well, that’s crazy. But she gave an
example of taking him to a swimming tryout, it was a high level swimming
competition and she knew that he probably wouldn’t do very well. But she took
him nevertheless, not to succeed, but to fail; not to be hurt, but to learn.

Teachable Moments

And so after that fact, it became a teachable moment and a springboard for him to get better in swimming which was a physical attribute, but also to get better and learning how to navigate adversity and get better, wiser, stronger. So it’s a different perspective.

But if we’re truly training, you know, in military sense, you
stress your systems and your people, you know, to the point of failure, so that
they will understand, you know, what that looks like. And they’ll have the
motivation and the commitment and the knowledge to not fail in the future.


So good. So good. is the place you can get
the full article. We have a link today at General Bob
Dees, love you, brother. Thanks so much for your time today.


You bet, Rick. And point people to the Resilience God Style
training game because that’s aimed particularly at families around the kitchen
table, play the game and learn about resilience and develop and grow children
who bounce.


Excellent. Excellent love it. Thank you. Let’s do it again soon,
sir. We’ll get you back.


You bet. God bless. Thanks, man.


You too. Stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back with David and
Tim Barton.

A Great Collection of Biographical Sketches

Hi friends, this is Tim Barton of WallBuilders. This is a time
when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of
the faith. And I know oftentimes for parents, we’re trying to find good content
for our kids to read. And if you remember back to the Bible, the book of
Hebrews, it has a faith Hall of Fame, where they outline the leaders of faith
that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans, we really
want to go back and outline some of these heroes, not just of American history,
but heroes of Christianity and our faith as well.

I want to let you know about some biographical sketches we have
available on our website. One is called the Courageous Leaders collection. In
this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis
Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers.
And there’s a second collection called Heroes of History. In this collection,
you’ll read about people like Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Columbus, Daniel
Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman, friends, the list goes on and on.

This is a great collection for your young person to have and read
and it”€™s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is
available at That’s

Raising Resilient Kids


We’re back on WallBuilders Live with David and Tim Martin Special
thanks to General Bob Dees for joining us. We have a links to the article and
his other materials as well. The article specifically about raising resilient
kids, but all of his materials are fantastic. David, Tim, several things to
learn just from today’s interview, but we encourage people to dive into the
full program as well.


You know, he was talking about how you want to train and develop
reflexes ahead of time. You know, I was reminded, Proverbs 22:6, where says,
train up a child. Well, that’s not tell him one time. To train is to create
repetition and repetition and repetition. In basketball, we call it muscle
memory. You know, you shoot 1000 shots a day so that when you get tired in the
fourth quarter and your body wants to shut down, your muscle memory is still
there to shoot the shots.

Tim and I were blessed to be able to do some training with a good
friend who’s a SEAL. And what do you do if they shove a gun in your face? And
there was a, you know, he taught us this technique: how to get the gun out of
our face and how to get away from the guys. But it’s something that we had to
train with each other. So we have to walk up with this dummy gun and point it
and learn what to do, but it takes training to do that.


And we’re still not very good at it.


Oh no.

Practice, Practice, Practice


If somebody puts a gun in my face, I’m just going to give you all
my money. Just take it, I don’t want any trouble. Right? When you walk away,
I’ll draw my gun and we’ll deal that. Right? But no, that he made it look so
easy. I mean he was a SEAL, right? I don’t know how many days and months and
years he practice this.


Well, I’ve got to say when we were talking to him, when we were doing
shooting with him and he was showing us, training to shoot in certain ways. He
said, he started his day every day by shooting 1,200 rounds, 1,200 rounds,
almost six hours of shooting in the morning. That”€™s how he started his day.
That’s training.


I wish I could get the military to pay for my ammu and let me
shoot [crosstalk 20:49].


We asked him, how many barrels you go through? I mean, well, we go
through three or four barrels a year. I’m going, oh my gosh!


And well, in fairness, he said, I really don’t know. Because
whenever the gun has issues, I just take it and turn it in and they give me new
gun, so I don’t even know how long it takes. But even we said, okay, so right.
What scenario, this happens? And so we were talking about disarming somebody.
And we said, okay, so if somebody puts a gun in your face, what do you do? He
says, oh, well, there’s so many options. Let me show you guys the easiest one.
And we’re like, yes, please give us the easy one, we can”€™t handle so many

Intentional Equipping

But the point is, the training had equipped him to be able to
handle the scenarios, to handle whatever came at him. And the training, you
know, dad, as you mentioned, he would shoot 1,200 rounds a morning. The level
of intentionality that this was not something that you just wake up and you’re
born with this gift, I mean, this is situation of resilience. You don’t wake up
and man, this kid is resilient. That’s awesome. No. You have to be very
intentional and learning to be resilient and helping train your kids to be
resilient, which I thought even the example he gave. When he gathers the
grandkids around, he says okay, if you throw this egg hard enough, it’ll bounce
back up. Well, you know, somewhere in your mind, you’re like, is that really
happened? Can you really do that? Well, of course not. But he’s giving them
examples. He’s being intentional to show them that you have two options in
life. Either when something hard happens, you can crumble, you can fold, you
won’t come back or tennis balls, you’re going to bounce back up, the level of
intentionality to help produce what you are looking for.

This is something that I think, often gets lost in our culture.
And as parents, we have to remember or just as people in general in our own
life, we have to remember to be intentional about helping train the behavior,
the ideas, the thoughts, the motivations that we want in those moments and
especially for the next generation, for our kids. The level of intentionality
has to be there, because this is not something that they are going to be just
innately born with, it’s a skill that is learned over time.

Opportunities to Train


Well, I love the fact that he said you’re always looking for
teaching opportunities. You know, he said, a skin knee is a cleverly disguised
opportunity. Well, it looks at the skin knee way? Well, if you’re a trainer, if
you’re looking to train, you see everything from that perspective. And the
training of, you know, he said the most important words, nine most important
words. I was wrong, I’m sorry, will you forgive me? How early do you want to
start training that? I mean, my gosh, from very first age, you’re learning to
defend yourself. And I’m always right and I’m not wrong and I want to admit I’m
wrong. And now start training and resiliency early.


Well, and guys, one of the things to working so much with young
people, from a young person perspective, a lot of lessons are caught more than
they are taught. Whereas a parent, you can try to teach the lesson, but if it’s
not being modeled, young people watch a lot more of the behavior of those
leading them than they do listen to their words. Because if your behavior
doesn’t match up with your words, then your words are going to be lost in the
next generation. And this is where we have to make sure that we are modeling
the right kind of behavior. That we are those kind of people that we bounce
back; that we are resilient; that we are able to persevere; that we have the

Faith and Resilience

And obviously, as believers, we would say that certainly faith plays
a huge part of this. It’s very hard to be resilient without faith. I’m sure you
can do it, you could try. I wouldn’t want to try it without faith. Without God,
without relationship with Jesus, it’d be very difficult. But this is something
just to keep in mind, is we’re trying to help train the next generation to be
resilient. If we are the ones having these frustrated moments and these
breakdowns and we’re offendable and we’re always the victim, well, then don’t
expect your kids are going to be different.

We want to make sure that what we are promoting in them, we are giving the example in our own life and behavior. So that just like the Apostle Paul said, when he said, follow me as I follow Christ, we can say hey, kids, in these situations, this is the way you want to respond. And when they see it in our life, that is going to be a lesson that they are going to catch much better than there’s going to be taught to them just in words.


Well, folks, be sure visit our website today,,
that”€™s where you can get archives of other programs you can listen to from
WallBuilders Live from the last few months. All available there at the website
as is the contribution button. Yeah, I know, I mention it every program and
it’s because every program is a listener supported program, which means we need
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Instilling Resiliency in our Kids “€“ With General Bob Dees

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