6 Tips to Help Your Child Build Courage: An Important Life Skill
When you look at every hero and heroine, whether real or fictional, you’ll find a few common denominators among them. Virtue, skill, and most importantly, courage.
Courage drives people to challenge limitations, falsehoods, and wrongs, so they can become more than what they were.Recommended Books to Help Build Courage in Children
Even when you’re not planning on raising a hero, courage is still an essential trait for a child to develop.
Not necessarily for the purpose of combating the injustices that plague modern society, but to at least be willing to forgo comforts in order to achieve certain goals.
Six Tips to Help Your Child Build Courage
1. Courage Is Like Wine
There are many kinds and many brands of wine, but we all have a general idea of what it is. That and the fact that the more the wine is fermented, the better it gets.
The same is true for courage. While it may not mean much for your child at this stage, courage will help them grow into a respected and capable adult.
This is so important because the world we live in is fiercely competitive and it can easily crush anyone’s spirit.
But, for something so essential, there’s one problem…
2. Courage Cannot Be Taught
Courage cannot be taught in the same way that we teach arithmetic or good manners.
To learn courage, there has to be a challenge and your child needs to be able to overcome that challenge.
The more your child practices courage by overcoming challenges, the more courageous they will learn to be.
3. Modeling Courage is Important
It is also important for grown-ups to model how to be courageous and face challenges themselves. If we are brave and face uncomfortable situations, our children can learn to do the same.
4. Give Your Children Permission To Make Mistakes and Offer Your Support
One of the biggest fears that most people have is the fear of failure and rejection.
Courage demands security and pride.
Knowing that “no matter how bad things can get, there will always be a support system” is going to help your child get back up. Be that support system.
Allow your child to venture out, to try new things and allow them to make mistakes without making them feel like you love them any less.
While you cannot teach someone to be courageous, you can help them build courage.
Similar to how leadership cannot be taught. Rather, it is earned.
Sometimes leadership is rewarded through programs such as the Berman & Simmons Youth Leaders Award.
5. Growth and Comfort Are Like Coffee and Lime (They Don’t Mix)
It’s important to teach our children that being uncomfortable isn’t necessarily always bad.
There will always be the fear of doing things that they aren’t sure that they can do easily.
It is okay to have fear. What matters is that they don’t run away from a challenge.
As we move deeper into the digital era, it would seem that more of our children are becoming less resilient, especially when you consider the political climate that we currently have.
It’s so easy to become afraid of being scrutinized and rejected for what we believe in, to the point that we end up suppressing ourselves in order to avoid any backlash. And this is exactly why we need courageous people — to speak truth, even when it’s the unpopular opinion.
Here is a great video with tips on “how to help your child build courage.”
The tips in this video can easily be adapted to work for children!
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Rachel Wise is the author and founder of Education and Behavior. Rachel created Education and Behavior in 2014 for adults to have an easy way to access research-based information to support children in the areas of learning, behavior, and social-emotional development. As a survivor of abuse, neglect, and bullying, Rachel slipped through the cracks of her school and community. Education and Behavior hopes to play a role in preventing that from happening to other children. Rachel is also the author of Building Confidence and Improving Behavior in Children: A Guide for Parents and Teachers.
“Children do best when there is consistency within and across settings (i.e., home, school, community). Education and Behavior allows us to maintain that consistency.”