Guiding Children to Develop Courage
Did you know that courage is a cognitive ability? Science tells us that courage is a trait that can be strengthened by our choices.
We all love to huddle in our comfort zones, don’t we? Our children, much like us, need subtle guidance to help them step out of their comfort zone. A courageous child is far more likely to stand strong and fight for the good of things, guided by their own family values. Helping your child build courage improves their resilience, and helps them through real-world struggles by allowing them to realize their inner strength. After all, behind every success story, there certainly have been many slip-ups. The following are 6 ways you can help your child find their own inner strength.
1. Model bravery
Your child grows up imitating what they see; your qualities. Famously known as observational learning, children tend to learn by imitating what they see and what they hear. Be the parent that shows your child how you step out of your comfort zone and conquer your own fears. Real life scenarios help build up courage for your little one to do the same. The next time you’re in line at that busy Starbucks with your kid, negotiate your 2 sugar, 1 pump vanilla, skimmed milk latte. Fear, not the line. The more your child feels you emulate courage, the more the behavior will be mirrored.
That’s right, role-playing. Who said teaching your kids can’t be fun? At the end of the day, role-playing will not only teach them to how to face real-world scenarios through a fun game, but it’s also bonding time with your precious ones. Start off with helping them understand what being courageous is, and helping them distinguish between what’s right and wrong. Then mention that being courageous is doing the right thing. From then on, give them their first scenario. For example, you could pretend you’re bullying Mr. Teddy Bear by calling it mean names. Encourage your child to stop you and tell you that you are wrong to bully someone because it is hurtful. This will not only help build family values but also help them set an example to other kids they are around.
3. Understand and help overcome their fears
Talk to your child about what’s bothering them, and take it seriously. No fear is to be neglected, be it monsters underneath their beds, or being afraid of your friend. Being their parent, you are their refuge. Figure out how their fear has arisen, and attempt to help them overcome it using humor and confronting that fear with them. For example, you could trivialize that monster by pretending it’s dressed up in cheeky checked underwear and funky shoes, this will help make the monster less scary and more friendly.
4. Describe your childhood
Making your child feel they can relate to you helps build their courage. As in the wise words of Nikos, a fulltime 6-year-old: “if mama and dad did it, I can do it!”. Tell your little ones funny stories about your own childhood, how you overcame your own hurdles. This may even give them the courage to eat that dreaded broccoli. Keep the description jolly and interactive by every now and then asking them a “what do you think I did?” question. This will help build on their morals, and in the same manner, teach them how to act in real-world situations.
5. Allow them to make mistakes
There is no doubt that this is the hardest thing to do as a parent, but hey, be courageous! As you’ve surely realized, you learn from your mistakes. Yes, it is a bit hurtful, but you’ve always gotten up stronger, haven’t you? In the same manner, allow your kids to experience slip-ups, and rest assured they will make better decisions the next time. When you pamper your little ones consistently, they fail to realize that their actions actually have consequences. The next time your child taunts you about touching that obviously hot cup to get a reaction out of you, let him. Let the cup work its magic. Allowing them the opportunity to experience the consequence themselves allows for growth.
6. Let’s Read
One brilliant way to develop courage in children is through reading. We noticed that with our daughter when we read stories of others overcoming their fears, and developing the courage to move into a situation they are not familiar with, it helped immensely.
This is why we are now releasing the second book of our collection ‘Discover the Courage in You’
Reading is a fun and interactive way to bond with kids. Experts recommend reading books to children every day; especially those at the age of 3 – 7 years. Books help us address an issue by explaining examples demonstrated through the story.
At MyBook Heroes, we are utilizing technology to help you build customized books where you place your child in the story as the main hero. This boosts the child’s self- esteem and makes learning easier and more fun!
Who doesn’t want to be the star in their own book?