We live in a big and uncertain world. Thus, it is easy to understand moms and dads who are overly protective of their children. Yet on second thought, the ultimate role of a parent is not to shield their kids from danger, but to equip them with skills that will enable them to cope with whatever challenges that may come their way. As sad as it may sound, parents cannot be by their children’s side all the time or forever. At one point, you will have to let go of your kids and allow them to explore the world on their own. This moment is something that parents should get ready for. Courage is a must if you want to survive and achieve great things in life, so responsible parents should make it a priority to instill bravery and resilience in their children.
Nevertheless, your goal to raise kids with a tough spirit is easier said than done. Most of the time, parents are faced with a difficult dilemma because giving children some degree of freedom is also risking their safety. For this reason, some parents would rather keep their kids sheltered and perfectly unscathed inside the home. So how do you awaken a sense of adventure in your children so they will be eager rather than scared to chart their own path? The following reminders can help you raise brave and adventurous children.
Be a model of courage.
As stressed time and time again, parents should practice what they preach. Parents who want to raise brave kids should also examine their behaviors. Children learn best by imitating and are likely to pick up the habits of those around them, so consciously set a good example. If you manage to stay calm and alert during a stressful situation, your kids will also have the strength to be brave during similar situations. Moreover, a research study from the University of Wisconsin confirms that parents can pass their anxiety to their kids.
Discuss your child’s fears.
Children can be scared of the littlest things and parents can sometimes be tempted to dismiss it as something inconsequential. But if you truly want to help your children overcome this fear, start by discussing it with your child. Try to understand where the fear is coming from by listening intently to your child and be genuinely sympathetic. Instead of laughing off the fear, gradually encourage them to face the things that are causing them anxiety.
Share inspiring stories of bravery.
Storytelling is an effective way to introduce concepts and ideas such as courage and resilience. Share stories about men and women who successfully overcome diversity through braving great odds. Literature and cinema offer a wide resource you can use to inspire children to overcome fear. Give them books that depict the importance of bravery. Or allow them to watch movies in which courage is the prevailing theme.
Mind your warnings and reminders.
As parents, you may often hear yourself saying the phrase “be careful” to your child numerous times. In an attempt to avoid any untoward incidents, there is nothing wrong in reminding your kids to be careful. Still, constant notice to stay safe does not really accomplish anything and may even incite fear to kids. According to university professor, Ellen Beate Sandseter, parents can effectively help their kids stay safe by using specific and action-oriented terms. For example, in a playground where a kid is playing on monkey bars, a mother can say terms such as, “stay focused” or “take your time” rather than “be careful”. Instead of presenting the dangers that may happen, you teach kids ways to tackle the challenge with ease.
From day one, parents should already be aware of the importance of fostering independence on their children. Courage is an essential trait to survive and achieve great things in life. Making a conscious effort to raise brave and adventurous children is one of the best gifts you can give your kids.