COURAGE – January’s WORD of the Month
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney
Courage means being brave in difficult times. It’s doing the right thing even when others don’t. Courage is following your conscience rather than the crowd.
Everyone has disappointments and obstacles they have to face. We all need courage to conquer our fears and to try new and different things.
Courage – How to teach it and how to show it
- Encourage children to try new things.
- Teach them that mistakes are okay, and can be learning opportunities
- Help your children face their fears by practicing what is difficult for them. For example – meeting a new friend for the first time or giving a presentation in front of the class.
- Encourage independence a little at a time, and compliment your child when he tries a new activity. Don’t hover – let your child play on their own for part of every day.
- Help your child to use words to express fear in stead of becoming paralyzed by it, such as “Mommy, I feel scared because that dog is big”.
- Praise your child when they “do the right thing”, such as returning a toy to another child or playing with an unpopular child. This will help them to build on the foundation of moral courage – the drive to “do the right thing” despite the fear of negative consequences.
- Explain to your child that courage does not mean taking unnecessary chances or neglecting safety. Teach them to balance physical courage with common sense.
Good to Know
Courage in its best sense is positive, energizing us to help others – even if it means taking an independent position. Kids don’t like the possibility of being “uncool”. So it is helpful for them to have examples of famous people who were courageous and successful, having positive impacts on others. Maybe you have family members that are also good examples.
Some of the most successful people have been faced with adversity: Abraham Lincoln was raised in poverty, Beethoven was born deaf, Einstein was considered mentally challenged, Martin Luther King faced racial discrimination and Whoopi Goldberg has dyslexia. All of these people gained success despite the obstacles they faced. Courage will allow children to accept and face difficulties so they can reach their dreams and goals.