How to help your child develop EMOTIONAL COURAGE

Has your child got enough emotional courage?

While we want our kids to be tough, we don’t want them to lose their emotional sensitivity. Author Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.” Courage in this sense means being willing to proceed with a situation or new relationship even though you know it might cause you emotional pain, such as fear, anxiety, stress, or heartbreak.

Examples of emotional courage might include standing up to a bully, speaking on a topic you feel strongly about even though you are shy or scared of being bullied or trolled.

Another one your kid might face is taking a chance on making friends with a group of other kids they don’t know, even though they might get rejected.

You want your kids to develop this emotional courage and avoid developing emotional ‘armouring’ and emotional resistance, such as avoidance, appearing aloof, or becoming ‘disconnected’.

To help your child have more emotional courage:

Putting on a brave face?
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  • Help kids understand that emotions are just energy – and that they will pass if you allow them to move through you without resisting and blocking them up.
  • Mindfulness exercises are beneficial. Watching thoughts come and go like clouds crossing the sky gives you the inner ‘space’ or freedom to just be and not get so caught up in the emotion.
  • Releasing techniques like the Sedona Method may be a little sophisticated for younger kids. Still, the idea of ‘welcoming’ emotions rather than resisting them will undoubtedly help a kid experience feelings as just energy and let them slide through and out to find peace again.
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  • Make time to check in with your child regularly to find out how they are feeling. Anticipate and ‘bring into the light’ situations that could cause strong emotions to come up.
  • As always, your greatest teaching is your own example. If you can communicate some of the challenges you are feeling and going through (without overburdening them with your ‘stuff’) and demonstrate how you deal with them, it will give your child a framework from which to work. Be aware that many of us need a lot of work in this area if we are not to bequeath our emotional sins (bad habits) to our offspring!

In our Brilliant Brainz monthly children’s magazine, the wellbeing section always features a practical hack, tool, method, or simple exercise that your child can do to improve their mental health, feel great, boost their confidence, and deal with life with resilient positivity. Be sure to get a subscription for your favourite young person (6-to-12 year olds) today!

Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.