Qualities to develop in our Children (Blog series 2)

If you missed it, here’s Part 1: Developing commitment

Part 2: Developing Courage

Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to act in the presence of fear.

So how do we develop courage in our children? How do we get our children to act in spite of their fears?  Answer: Lots of practice.

Here are 3 steps to develop courage

1. Allow them to feel their fear

When we allow them to feel their fear and we don’t make them wrong or try to make them feel better our children feel heard and accepted.  They feel safe. This sense of safety is the foundation or place where we can start to build their courage. Fear is not bad; it is just an indicator that they need to get prepared. Ask them questions with curiosity and no expectations:

  • How are you feeling?
  • What makes you feel that way?
  • What do you think will happen?
  • What else could happen?
  • What would you say or do?
  • How would that feel?
  • What do you need to make it feel safer and how could you get that?

When we listen to our fears and find solutions or options for our fears by these questions, this develops our courage to try.

2. Encourage them to try

Once our children have heard and satisfied their fear and have a strategy to try, ask them:

  • Are you ready to try?
  • Is there anything else you need?
  • When would be the best time to try?

Get them to commit to themselves as to when and how they will try. Let them be specific e.g. in the morning, before school, when we are standing by the classroom.

3. Have presence without judgement or expectation

Our presence without judgment and expectation when they come home is essential….even if they didn’t try! Remember they need to feel safe while they are developing their courage. Acknowledge them. Tell them that it is okay! Ask them:

  • What stopped you?
  • What could you do if that happens again?
  • Is there anything else you need?
  • When are you going to try again?

Sometimes there is a legitimate reason why they were not able to try and sometimes another fear will crop up and you can support them to hear it and find options again to satisfy the fear.

When our expectations and feelings as parents appear in this process, this is about ourselves and has nothing to do with our children. Learning how to separate our needs and feelings from the way we parent and develop our children is the key to our success as a parent and to our own personal happiness. My workshops show you how.

Remember questions are the answer, they develop your children’s minds

I would love your feedback! What worked? Where did you get stuck? Are there any other topics you would like to read about?

Next week we will talk about developing curiosity – the quality needed for innovation

Click to see Part 3

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