Nurturing the brave heart in your child

by Laurel Pretorius
Nurturing the brave heart in your child
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Teaching our children how to be brave is essential for them to thrive as adults. By Laurel Pretorius.

It’s a tough world out there and we need a fair amount of courage to survive and thrive in it. As a parent, it has therefore become more important than ever to raise brave and resilient children.

What is bravery? It’s the ability to move forwards and do things even when they are scary- it is not the absence of fear, which is a natural response to new or challenging circumstances and experiences.

Bravery is an invaluable life skill that will give them the ability to face challenges, conquer fears, and take calculated risks ultimately empowering them to navigate life’s uncertainties with confidence and grace.

  • Bold benefits

Being brave isn’t only about facing those monsters under the bed or climbing the tallest tree; it’s a trait that extends to every facet of life. When our children develop bravery, they gain the following benefits:

  • Assuredness & self-confidence

A brave child believes in their abilities and trusts themselves to handle new situations. This self-assurance will become a strong foundation for their personal and professional success in the future.

  • Resilience in adversity

As adults, we already know that life is full of challenges, setbacks, and disappointments. When you encourage bravery in your children, they are more likely to bounce back from tough experiences and will learn and grow from them rather than become defeated.

  • Openness to new adventures & experiences

Bravery encourages children to step out of their comfort zones and explore the unfamiliar. The willingness to embrace adventures, big and small, fosters creativity, adaptability, and a broader perspective on life.

  • Great at making decisions

To be brave, children must learn to assess risks and make decisions despite potential obstacles. Once they know how to do this, they become better equipped to make thoughtful choices throughout their lives.

  • Healthy relationships

When children become brave, they find it easier to express their feelings, stand up for their beliefs, and communicate assertively. These qualities are essential to have when building respectful and authentic relationships.

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Let’s lead courageously

Teaching your children to be brave can in fact help you, as the parent, to reflect on your own courage. What are the most essential ways you can bring out the brave heart in your brood?

  • Lead by example

Children learn by observing their parents so demonstrate bravery in your own life by tackling challenges, admitting mistakes, and trying new things. Your courage will serve as a powerful model for your child.

  • Create a safe space

Let your child know that it’s okay to feel afraid, but that fear shouldn’t control their actions. Build an environment where they can express their emotions without judgment while still receiving your unconditional support.

  • Encourage positive self-talk & can-do attitudes

Teach your children to reframe their negative thoughts and doubts into positive affirmations. Show them (by example) that they can replace phrases like “I can’t” with “I’ll try my best”.

  • Celebrate effort

Positively acknowledge your child’s efforts rather than only their successes. This will instil in them the understanding that bravery starts with attempting challenges, regardless of the outcome.

  • Slowly but surely

That saying, “throw them in the deep end” should be thrown out the window. The best way to bring out the bravery in your children is to introduce them to new experiences one small challenge at a time, and gradually build up to bigger ones as their confidence grows.

  • Talk about brave people

Share stories of brave individuals who have overcome obstacles or taken risks. This can inspire your child and help them to realise that courage comes in many forms.

  • Praise resilience

When your child experiences setbacks, tell them how amazing they are to have overcome adversity. Talk to them about the importance of perseverance and how they become better people from these experiences. Nurturing the brave heart in your child

There’s that wonderful quote from Winnie the Pooh that goes, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think” which perfectly sums up the idea of bravery.

If your children believe they are brave, they will by default feel stronger and smarter within themselves. It’s up to you as the parent to help them navigate their journey to bravery and it begins with your understanding and support, as well as your willingness to nurture your child’s innate potential to conquer fears and thrive.

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