Courage means doing the right thing when it is hard, even when it means being called a “chicken" by others.
A person with courage dares to attempt difficult things that are good. He has the strength of a leader and ability not to follow the crowd, to say no and mean it and influence others by it. He is true to conviction and follows good impulses even when they are unpopular or inconvenient.
You can teach your children courage through stories, games, role-playing and discussion. However the most powerful and effective approach is to have it and show it through your personal example and through your generous praise of their example and attempts.
Here are some guidelines on how you can teach honesty to your children
Praise Their Attempts
Take notice of every little effort of your child and reward him for the slightest evidence of courage. This applies to children of any age.
For young children to demonstrate courage, it takes the overcoming of thumping heard and mind full of uncertainty. Hence you child make an attempt, he truly deserve your lavish praise. Your praise should be for his attempt, regardless of the outcome of his action.
- praise your child for trying a new way to doing things,
- trying new food,
- initiate making friends with people he just met,
- trying a new activity
Among all, the most important one is to praise for his moral courage i. e. not going with others who were doing something wrong, telling the truth when it is easier to tell a lie etc.
Teach By Your Example
Children learn best from what they see rather what you say. Give your children a parental model for courage. Share stories with your children about difficult things that you do – this is not to boost or brag about yourself but a way to tell your kids that even adults have difficult things.
If you have a tough project or decision to make, tell your children about it. If you said no to some peer pressure or make a decision that is morally and ethic right although it will make you unpopular, tell your children about it. Your children will learn a lot from your stories.
Teach Them the Difference between Courage versus “Loudness” and Lack of Courage versus Shyness
Courage is a quality of character and not personality. If you have children that are shy, help them to understand that you are not trying to teach them to be louder or assertive but courage.
Talk to them about “quiet courage” – the courage to say no to something that is wrong, the courage to make friend with another child who has no friends. Explain to them that everyone can be a little scared but we can all do what is right anyway.
Help Your Children Understand the Makeup of Courage
The most important factor to teach courage to children of all age is to realize that preparation and faith makeup courage.
Our children will have courage if they are properly prepared, whether it is by thinking through decision, teaching them to say no with confidence, doing something new and helping them to feel confident that they can perform well. The key to courage is to help your children build up faith in themselves that they are able to do what they know is right. Your kids will realize that faith lies not believing that something will turn up but in believing that they can turn something up.
Article by Alvin Poh, founder of Learning Champ, a parenting wesbite that provides information and resources to parents, who want to help their children develop the important skills and mind set for a brighter future -> http://www.alvinkh.per.sg/learningchamp