A couple years ago I had a long struggle with fear. I feared that I was making bad decisions. I feared that I was missing my calling. I feared that I was going to be left out of important stuff in life. I feared dying. I feared watching my children die. I feared worst case scenario in just about every situation.
Having fear as your companion is totally draining. Its like having that contrary friend that points out the opposite side to everything you mention. I can’t wait to share how I eventually said goodbye to fear and become a free woman! But for now, I wanted to focus on what that journey taught me about raising brave kids. Here are a few ‘secrets’ (or maybe they’ve been obvious to everyone all this time, but I finally ‘found’ them! :)) that I’ve learned:
#1. Set the tone. Do things even when you’re afraid. Talk about courage and bravery and focus on overcoming, instead of becoming a prisoner to your fears. Kids will take note if we live in fear!
#2. Teach your kids that we must always trust God. Always. If the world is crumbling around us, trust God. If we lose our jobs, trust God. If we fail, trust God. If we lose loved ones, trust God. Because God will never fail us. I get that these are hard and complex conversations to have with kids. Because bad stuff does happen. And we all experience pain. But even through that, set the foundation for your child that God is good, and our lives are in His hands, and that even in the midst of extreme pain and suffering, He is present and able to bring us peace.
#3. Live Gutsy. Take risks. Do something that is out of your comfort zone, just because. If we normalize ‘Doing it Afraid’ with a smile on our face? Yeah, our kids are going to notice! And there will come a day when they will naturally follow the same path.
#4. Find Heroes. Our kids all admire someone. So flood their mind and spirit with heroic models. They’ll take mental note of the things they admire and they’ll want to emulate that someday. (Hopefully sooner rather than later!)
#5. Give your kids opportunities to serve. Serving others is like medicine for the self-centered soul. It can be really effective in getting our minds off ourselves and instead onto more important things. While at home serving is where it all begins, I think joining in a community effort kills two birds with one stone (what a horrible phrase…I grew up on that one!) . Kids serve while experiencing camaraderie.
I hope some of these ’secrets’ are helpful! I’d love to hear your feedback and what you’ve seen work for raising brave kids!