Is your child born brave, or made brave?

How to raise brave kids without bullying them - Raising your child to be brave - Is your child born brave, or made brave?

As a parent, you will be regularly tasked with helping your child make good decisions in the face of fear and uncertainty.


Of course, you will want them to be brave, and you should encourage them to be brave – you just need to be careful how you go about it. 


Whether your child is nervous about an exam, a social occasion or a sporting event, it’s your responsibility to equip them with the mental and physical ability to tackle their fears and productively push through their feelings of discomfort. 


Since kids are born with different temperaments, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to supporting your child through difficult times, but your key to success will be empathy; that is, seeing the situation as best you can, through their eyes.


Not all children are comfortable being “thrown into the deep end”, and in fact, this can traumatise them. You want your child to face their fear on their own terms, not because they’ve been forced into doing so. 

Minimising or “playing down” their fears can also backfire – so be careful insisting “there’s nothing to worry about”.


You need to understand why your child is afraid, and then tailor your approach to meet their needs. If possible, you should also resist the temptation to fix the situation for them. Sometimes, you need to stand back and let your child figure things out for themselves. 


Often, you’ll be required to hide your frustration. If you can, try connecting with a similar story of your own, a time you felt a similar way; it will be comforting for your child to know they’re not all alone.


Your child should be brave and empowered, with your encouragement, but on their own terms – let them shine bright.

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