When I picture words like “risk-taking” and “adventure” for my kids, I freak out. It brings in images of broken bones, bruised knees, and even worse things. However, kids and adults alike, need to have a spirit of adventure in order to take on life as it comes and live it to the fullest, with a smile.
Let us raise kids who are brave. Let us hone in them, a spirit of adventure. Let’s look at how can we go about doing that:
Don’t hold them back from experience new things or be overprotective towards your kids. Let them go cycling, learn swimming, try out new food, walk barefoot in the hills. Let them live, as nature had intended us to.
Your child’s sense of bravery changes based on your vibe and the situation. Some kids jump at the idea of doing something scary and exciting, while some hide under a table even to avoid playing Holi! Encourage them to explore the world and fill their life with new experiences (after teaching them to be careful and alert).
Most of all, helping them have a spirit of adventure teaches kids bravery.
Guide them just enough and be there for them, no matter what. Some kids try new things eagerly while others take their time. Adjust your expectations to match with your child’s personality.
Instead of getting annoyed that your child won’t jump into the swimming pool despite you paying a bomb for the classes, let your kids get comfortable watching others swim. Get into the pool yourself, if you can. Remember, that you are their role model. Show them your spirit of adventure. Courage is contagious. They will come around.
Values go a longer way than rules and regulations. Help your kids be rooted in good values like honesty, empathy, the desire to grow and so on. Let these be their guiding lights.
When you kids return the toys to whom it rightfully belongs, praises them. When your kids stand up to defend someone being wronged, praise them. That helps build bravery in your kids.
Talk about how proud you are of your kids for doing the little things that make them brave. Tell them how much you trust them, and mean it. Tell them how you truly believe in them. In the night, leave them with brave thoughts of wanting to do the right thing, helping people around, being supportive. Tell them stories of brave people, of friends and relatives. Help them find a role model who is brave. This will go a long way in helping your kids develop a spirit of adventure.
Let your kids take time to try out new things. Coax them gently but don’t push them too much. Let them find a sense of comfort in their cuddly toys, blankets, grandparents and you. Help them find that bravery step-by-step. There is no need to rush. Kids can grow at their own sweet pace. There is no need to match up with the world and run at an unruly pace.
Get them out of the confines of home! Coax them to play sports. Go trekking even if you are terrible at it. Try and be a little outdoorsy. If you shy away from it, there is no way you can talk about the virtues of being literally adventurous to your kids.
If they tell you that they are scared of riding a bike or playing football, genuinely listen without judgment. Don’t dismiss their fears. What seems tiny to you is a giant of a feeling for your kids. Listen patiently and empathize. Let them know that you understand. Tell them about your own such experiences and then how you overcame the fears. That will help them overcome their fears. Plod them gently but don’t be critical of their fears or they will stop confiding in you. Encourage lovingly, and they will soar high in life.