Three ways you can teach your kids to be brave

Our lives as moms are not spit-polished and shined. Our family’s days don’t always fit nicely into our planners, and the pictures perched nicely on our mantle are likely mere moments, skillfully captured by an amazing professional photographer on an “extra” chaotic day of “dressy” clothes our kids didn’t want to wear in the first place.

Try as we may, we are not Pinterest perfect. We forget raincoats, dress-up day at school, and even lunches some times. For those of us with more than one kid, long gone are the days where we fuss over a minor fall; instead, we just check for blood or broken bones.

Nope, our stories are not always sweet and precious. Some days they are covered in mud then rolled in grime. But moms, we have to know that the grit that fills up our stories isn’t all bad!

Think about when you have grown the most in life? Stories of real change and real God encounters are often littered with periods of struggle, failures, and loss. It’s the same for our kids. What better time to help them learn to be brave than in the safety net of our own homes? As a mom, I don’t want to be the reason my kids choose safety and comfort over being brave!

Here are 3 ways we can raise brave kids:

1. Say “Be brave” more than you say “Be careful”

There was a time when public restrooms, parks, sharing drinks, eating unwashed vegetables, and not-washing-hands-after-pee-pee” had me scared for my kids’ lives. Alas, my kids are still alive. It’s hard to be brave if we are only in safe and flowery situations. When they embark on a risky conquest, whether it’s monkey bars, a first time date, or dropping them off at college – trust them and tell them you believe in them.

2. Accept “headstrong” and “independent” as positive characteristics.

Psychology Today says, “Contrary to popular belief, not all risk-taking is bad. In fact, many risks are not only good, but promote healthy neurological development and growth…” Encourage challenges. Encourage your kids to go for it! Being headstrong and independent aren’t only positive characteristics, they are the qualities of leaders, and the foundations of world changers!

2. Be brave yourself

Change doesn’t happen inside your comfort zone. Are you afraid of heights? Climb something and let your kids see. Scared you look silly dancing? Dance with your kids! Terrified of roller coasters? Conquer one at your local amusement park. No matter their age, kids play “follow-the-leader” very well. Let them see you be brave.