Tips to Help Teach Bravery

Children are confronted all the time with new experiences and situations that scare them. These could be life changing like their first day of school to more recreational like learning how to ride a bike.

It's important that kids understand that bravery doesn't mean that you're not afraid, but that you do something even when you're scared.

Feeling scared often comes with doing something new or facing challenges and, if we let fear hold us back, we can miss out on fun experiences and opportunities.  Teaching kids bravery can open them up to a world of endless opportunities.

Acknowledge feelings

It's tempting to dismiss your child's feelings when you know they're overreacting by saying things like "there's nothing to be afraid of."  However, this is rarely helpful.  By acknowledging their fears and showing them that you understand the weight of their fear can make it easier for them to cope.

Offer Information

Children are often frightened because they misunderstand something or are missing some information.  Discussing situations with your child gives you an opportunity to clarify their concerns and brings familiarity, which can also ease fears.

Model Bravery

Kids learn more from what we do than what we say.  By taking on new challenges where we're not instantly successful or that we may be unsure of teaches them that it's okay to struggle and to overcome fear.

From PBS.org

You can help your child learn to face their fears by making a Bravery Badge that they can wear any time they need a little extra boost in confidence. The Bravery Badge also provides a great opportunity to talk with your children about what situations make them scared or uncomfortable and allow you to address their fears. In addition, this also provides a fun activity for your children to exercise their creativity and ingenuity!

Things You Will Need:

  • Colored Construction Paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Circular items for tracing (bowls, glasses, lids)
  • 2 cut pieces of ribbon, 5" long, 2" wide
  • Glue
  • Star Stickers
  • Safety Pin

Instructions

  1. Sit down with your child and discuss what sorts of situations make them scared or uncomfortable. Ask them about things that are coming up in the future like school. Talk about bravery and what it is and how it can help them stay positive when they're trying something new for the first time.
  2. Have your child identify a few colors of construction paper that will make him or her feel "brave". Using your circular items, have them trace a few circles for the badge. Encourage your child to make circles of different sizes.
  3. Using the scissors, have them cut out the circles, following the lines they traced carefully.
  4. Use markers and the stickers to decorate the circles.
  5. Have your child pick a few of the various circles, and have them layer them (largest on the bottom, smallest on the top) to form the badge.   Help them glue the circles together.
  6. Once the glue dries, remind them of their bravery by writing something helpful like "I am Brave!" or something similar on the front of the badge.
  7. Finally, glue the ribbon in an X pattern across the back of the badge!

Once everything has dried, the badge is ready to serve as a reminder to your children that they can take on any new, potentially scary situation.  Just help them pin it on and they're ready to face anything!

From Education.com