There comes a time in our lives when we start to see our children facing challenges that we know they have to sort out themselves. When we become helicopter parents and we sweep in to ruffle feathers, this makes life easier for us but more difficult for them. As such, we’ve got to implement some crucial attitudes in our children. There may be attitudes we think they need that we don’t necessarily have. That notion of courage is something that can seem like part of a bygone era. But it’s not about being brave in the traditional sense; it’s about self-reliance and self-sufficiency. What can we do to help our children develop their bravery?
Share One Of Your Own Struggles
A problem shared is a problem halved! But we also have to remember that feeling brave doesn’t necessarily feel like bravery at the time. It’s something that can fill us with conflicting emotions or causes us to feel down in the dumps. Maybe something has happened to us recently that we can show our children what we have done to get through it. Exposing our children to these problems can give them the courage to handle their own.
Sometimes it’s about perspective. While we may have had to go through an ordeal, whether it’s hiring a personal injury lawyer to go through the court system or going through bankruptcy or conflict in work, these struggles can get us down. If children see their parents going through their own challenges but more importantly, resolving them, this can rejuvenate and inspire them.
Don’t Do Things For Them
We all need to develop and grow. Part of getting older is about getting more mature. If we rescue our children every time they have a challenge they won’t be able to problem-solve it by themselves. This means that they will rely on us for things that we don’t think we should be doing for them which can cause conflict between them and us later on in life.
It’s not about letting them do everything for themselves but it’s about understanding when you think that something would be easier if you did it for them. This is one of the big problems we’ve got to overcome. But anything that you know your child is able to do for themselves, let them do it for themselves!
Give Them The Opportunity To Take Risks
Pushing our children out of their comfort zone is not about throwing them out of a plane! It’s about giving them exposure to risky activities in a secure environment, such as indoor climbing. It’s something that feels like they’re doing something brave. Encouraging your children to go out of their comfort zone slightly gives them the ability to slowly increase their confidence. There may be times when we have to let them fend for themselves, especially when they are young and they don’t necessarily grasp the concept of courage. A perfect example is when they go to school; they may think that we are leaving them somewhere horrible and we could very well feel guilty for doing this. But this is a risk in a very controlled environment.
Yes, it’s heartbreaking for them to begin with, but they are somewhere that has boundaries and this can help them to assert themselves in other ways. Expanding their comfort zone is all about doing it slowly. When our children have a major shock to the system this can result in regression. It’s important to remember this.
Implementing Self-Sufficient Habits
Learning about themselves is an important process that we shouldn’t rush. When you want your children to feel confident or brave a lot of it is about instilling specific habits that they can draw on during difficult times. These days we are people who can rely on so many things around us that we may not ever feel self-sufficient. We can help our children to develop self-sufficiency by helping them realize the consequences of their actions but also start to do things that improve their ability to look after themselves. There are some habits that we can implement such as getting them to tidy up after themselves but it’s also about the little things during the course of the day that can add up to a lot.
One simple example is making the bed. Even the biggest entrepreneurs say that if you can make your bed in the morning you’ve already started the day on a positive note. This gives you a feeling of accomplishment. In fact, it’s something that Navy SEALs learn in training! When you feel resilient it means you have control over certain things but also understand the things that you cannot control. This breeds relaxation. And when we start to look at people who put themselves on the front line, like in the army, there is such importance on doing the smallest things in an expert fashion before the bigger ones that this is going to prove to be the foundation of any child’s ability to develop.
Nobody wants their children’s lives to be full of struggle. But we have to remember that our abilities to tackle our own problems is something that helps us develop as people. Arguably, the modern world is more competitive than it used to be and our schools may very well be setting our children up for competition by pushing them into difficult situations. But what we have to remember that our children need to get up when they fall. Life is bereft with problems and this means that we can either run away from them or we can face them with courage and attempt to resolve them. Problems are not negative things but they can cause us to shy away when we don’t face up to them. We have to remember that, when we are trying to encourage our children to be more courageous, we are the blueprint. If you are someone who isn’t necessarily able to confront things it’s worth looking in the mirror. We have to lead by example and if we want our children to have the essential skills that we don’t have, we must learn them too!