Kids and teens will usually step up to expectations or step down to them. If we expect them to try hard, they usually will – if we expect them to give up, they usually will. Be careful how you speak to your kids and teens as they do ‘listen to your words and learn from your actions’ much more than you may realise.
Explain to them that failure is often a result of trying something brave. Every experience they have, both good and bad, teaches them something new. Failure is essential for learning. Being imperfect is normal, give them space for imperfection – it is a life lesson. In the world of social media perfection is a very real expectation for kids today but a very unrealistic one.
There may be a time when they really want to try something new but may be nervous, they may need to build themselves up for a while before taking that first step, and that is ok. The bravery hits in when they take that first step. Be patient with them and help them to prepare for whatever it is they want to try. Show belief in them any time you can. ‘I know you can do this, I have every faith in you that you can do this’, with a bit of effort you can do this, if you don’t try you will never know if you can do this.’
Everything you do is important to your kids and they do take everything in. Take the time to explain how you dealt with nervousness when you were younger, how you dealt with failure, how you dealt with disappointment, how you felt with rejection and sadness (not all at once of course). Normalising these feelings helps them to express their own feelings. I work with so many kids who hold these emotions internally and this can lead to anxiety, nervousness, lack of confidence and so much more.
Notice when your child has been brave, has shown courage in any area of their lives. Whether they have picked up a spider to bring it to safety, started a new activity, stood up for someone – anything you notice. Positive reinforcement is a wonderful tool. Kids flourish on deserved praise.
I once read ‘Too many times creative, change-making, beautifully open minds have been shut down in the name of compliance. There is nothing wrong with questioning – it opens hearts, minds, and mouths. One of the reasons the world is capable of great things, is because young minds who are brave enough to challenge the way things are and to want something better, grow into adults minds who make it happen.” Let your kids question and grow at every opportunity.
Nurture you child’s bravery, their uniqueness, their inquisitiveness it will be the making of them. Help them to stretch outside their comfort zone at every opportunity. Believe in them at all costs.
“It takes courage to grow up an become who you really are.”Share Blog