How to Raise a Courageous Child Who Tries New Things
Have you noticed a little bit of anxiety in your child and are worried about them? Does it seem to you that they don’t like taking any risks?
This is super common.
Nowadays, children grow under pressure from parents, school, friends, social media, and more. But you can help her overcome her fears and grow up a brave child.
I talk by experience. A few years ago, my eldest daughter was very anxious about a series of apparently unrelated fears. She was fearful of bees, dogs, and even elevators.
We were distraught, looked for help, and got her a puppy to start working on her fears.
You should look at her now!
She’s a confident girl who speaks four languages and plays the piano at school galas. Her old fears exist no more—and now she wants a second dog!
Keep reading to learn how to build up courage for kids, how you can teach your child to be brave, and why this is so important for their life.
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A Brave Definition for Kids
Talking about building courage for kids or how to raise a brave child is a delicate issue.
Let’s be honest, being a child these days must be frightening.
First, they have to deal with a whole new world they know nothing about. And they also live in a world where their self-esteem varies according to the number of likes they can get.
But, what is courage anyway?
I’ve found two different definitions of bravery that I think nail the topic and are easy to understand for kids:
- Courage “involves making good choices in the face of fear or obstacles.”
- Brave or courageous means to be “ready to face pain or danger.”
Both definitions talk about what kids need to stand up to, namely fear, obstacles, pain, or danger.
So, if you want to learn how to teach bravery to your kids, helping them identify their fears and obstacles is a good starting point.
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6 Ways To Teach Your Children How To Be Brave
Growing up brave isn’t easy. To teach your children how to be braver, you can use some of these strategies:
1. Try New Things
One of the most common fears among kids (and adults alike) is getting out of their comfort zone. A child that doesn’t like trying new things is a child that may be afraid of what she’s going to find.
This can be a sign of anxiety, extreme shyness, or low self-esteem, as the kid may not be sure if she can get a nice result.
“Encourage your child to try new things,” perhaps a new extra-curricular class, learning a new instrument, or playing a sport she never tried before.
Explain to her that it doesn’t matter if she’s good or not at it. In the process, she’ll get to know herself better and would have beat the fear of trying.
2. Eliminate Demeaning Self-talk
You have no idea how many times I’ve heard a student say, “I’m not good at math,” or “I hate arts,” or something like that.
When they say stuff like that, kids express their fear of failing in that particular field. So, they prefer to use a predetermined excuse for their failures.
The problem is that they also keep feeding the beast, and they believe their own statement.
If your child ever says something like that, ask her not to say it, but also show her how wrong she is in her assessment. Remind her of all the times she has achieved great things in that field.
Also, reinforce her self-esteem with positive talk.
Make sure to let your children know how “they will always be braver than they think they are.”
3. Accept Fear
I’ve talked before about the need to identify your child’s fears. The next step to having courage is to accept those fears.
Having fear is natural is a common trait among brave people.
One of the best courage quotes for kids comes from one of the bravest men in history:
“The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
This is the thought process you can follow with your children about fear:
4. Lead by Example
Yes, kids listen—but more than anything, kids watch. And they watch you more than anyone.
Give your child courageous examples by facing your fears in your daily life. But make sure that she’s getting the message. Highlight to her why the challenge you faced was such a difficult situation for you.
Do this even if those situations happened long ago. In other words, make your child be proud of you and help her understand why she’s feeling like that.
5. Inspire Her With Stories of Triumph
Sometimes having constant talks about courage can get repetitive, and kids may feel that we as parents are pushing too much on the subject.
Tell your children “stories of struggle then triumph” is a more subtle way of sending the message.
Personally, I love the story of Wonder, and it’s perfect for children. But you can also find inspiration in the story of Frida Kahlo or Nelson Mandela.
6. Tell Her How Much You Admire Her
Nothing will do more to fix that damaged self-esteem than loving words from parents.
Let her know how proud you’re of her, and remind her of all the times she showed courage in her life.
Tell her that courage is within her and that all she needs to do is trust herself.
Inspire Your Child To Be Brave
Bullies and fears are part of life. But, sadly, we can’t keep them away from our children.
However, we can inspire them to be brave and conquer their fears.
Select one or a few of these courage activities for kids, and little by little, your child will develop a better understanding of her own fears and how to beat them.
Building up courage for kids is a crucial part of parenting. Nobody wants their child to be a pushover and to never take risks.
Just understand that it’s a slow process that requires a lot of love, patience, and creativity.
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