If you hide your eyes during the scary scene of a movie, are you brave? If you walk away from a smart aleck instead of punching them in the gut, are you standing up? If all the guys want to sneak out and pull the prank of the century, and you stay home, are you a sissy?
Sometimes courage is confused with a false “superhero” type of bravado. It’s the macho man (does anyone say macho anymore?) who has to win the argument. It’s the woman who let’s the world know that they don’t take any junk from anyone. It’s the kid who can’t walk away from a taunt.
We know this isn’t courage, but when you’re a kid, it can be confusing. When do you walk away and when do you stay and fight? What does it look like to stand up for what is right?
You can help your kids live courageously!
1. Talk about courage when you see it.
When you see courage in action, stop and admire it. The best way for your child to understand what it looks like to stand up for what is right is to show them. Don’t let this lesson go by unnoticed. Highlight the everyday courageous actions of the real life heroes that are all around us.
2. Teach them to pause before they react.
In reality, there is no Green Goblin about to destroy the world if we don’t react immediately. Teach your kids to stop, take a deep breath, evaluate the circumstances, and then react. When you slow things down, it gives you time to see what’s right. It creates an opportunity for you to stand strong.
3. Care for people first.
It is always the right thing to care for and value people. When your child is guided by a basic sense of compassion for others, the courageous action often becomes clear.
4. Remind them that they are not alone.
Sometimes when you stand up for what is right, you find yourself standing alone. Let your child know, that you admire them for standing strong. Remind them that you are always on their side. They may feel alone, but in truth, they can borrow a little courage from you if they need to.
Courageous men and women who stood up for what they believed in have shaped our world. They spoke for people who had no voice. They fought for the rights of those who were taken advantage of. They rescued those who had no hope.
We are raising the next generation of heroes.
Let’s show them what courage looks like.