This month we will focus on the powerful word; “courage.”
Courage is not the absence of fear, as many children might think. Rather, courage is how we cope with fears in the face of challenge. In fact, as parents and mentors, it’s important that we let children know that everyone (even heroes!) gets scared sometimes. It’s how we cope with those fears that dictates our level of courage.
Of course there are reasons why we get scared. Some of those reasons are protective. In other words, we’re scared because fear can keep us safe. Perhaps we had a bad experience in the past and we don’t want a repeat performance. Or, maybe our gut is telling us something isn’t quite right.
Other times fears emerge from our imagination. We worry about what might happen—even if it’s unlikely. These are the times that courage lends a hand.
Courage comes in handy in many circumstances. We need courage to try new things and meet new people. We need courage to stand up for our values and what we believe is right. We also need courage to move forward towards realizing our goals. All we need to do is calm ourselves down so we can make good choices!
It turns out that taking healthy risks is an important part of courage. One study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies a few years ago showed that those children who are more courageous and who take more healthy risks have lower levels of anxiety (Muris, 2009). A Cornell University study out in the beginning of this year tells us though that sometimes we have an “illusion of courage” before we are actually faced with the challenge. So it’s not surprising that at the moment of truth, we sometimes back away in fear (January, 2012). At those moments, extra support is often needed.
This month, please share with your children all the ways you have shown courage. Demonstrate to them what courage looks like by trying new things and taking healthy risks. You are their role model!
Thank you for your support.
You are pivotal in helping to make our school one of the best personal development centers in the world.