One of the most important lessons children and teens should learn is that courage doesn’t always feel like bravery. It can be frightening or thrilling, depending on the situation.
Sometimes, courage can feel like overwhelming fear or anxiety. It can also be a trickster, as it often differs. This is because both fear and courage exist in a unified way.
What makes courage different from other emotions is that it’s about something magical happening inside us, enabling us to push through fear and anxiety and do what makes us afraid.
Kids need to learn about courage, as seeing its effects can take a while. For instance, it can mean being kind to a new student in class or speaking up for something they believe in. These things often come with a limited amount of fanfare.
Everyone wants to feel safe. It’s so unsplintered and smooth that it’s unlikely to cause bruises or scrape you. However, being safe and certain can sometimes be too perfect for our kids. They will eventually need to learn to take risks and grow from them.
Kids and teens often step up to their expectations. They should be supported and talked about their courage and reminded of the significance of their actions.
Rejection and failure are often a sign that you’ve done something brave. They can provide you with new knowledge and experience you might not have had access to otherwise. Give children room to grow and accept imperfection.
Try to encourage them to do something that pushes them to the edges of their emotional or physical selves, such as music, drama, or sports. Doing something that will help them develop their inner strength and confidence will do much for their development. You can tell them about when you were afraid, hesitated, or said “yes” or “no” to things that were not right for you. Talk about when you felt overwhelmed, changed your thinking, and felt like doing something big was right for you. You can inspire them to feel brave by sharing your own stories.
Sometimes, brave behavior gets overshadowed by actions that are a little scuffed. If this occurs, support the courageous intent or voice while redirecting the behavior.
One of the most common ways people avoid going beyond their limitations is through negative self-talk, silent communication can be barely noticeable, but it can be powerful. Have your kids understand that even though they may be scared, they will still be braver than they think. You can show them that even if they are not feeling brave, they can still act as if they are. Being brave can be an action, a thought, or a feeling.
This blog was previously published on February 22, 2023 at https://medium.com/@jenniferpowersnyc