Inspiring Bravery in Children

I have an awesome job at a wonderful bookstore, and the part of the job that I love the most is creating the children’s summer reading program. This year, we have another great program in the works, and I’m excited to tell you about it when summer is a bit closer (since it is still snot-freezingly cold outside at the moment). Everything has been coming together wonderfully.

Well, everything but one sticky part that had me stumped.

dawn_treaderThe general theme of the program this year is a play on the word “character”. We are using different characters from famous children’s series to teach character traits that kids should have. The series that was stumping me was The Chronicles of Narnia. I already knew that I wanted to use Lewis’ Narnia books to encourage bravery, but how?

Each week’s theme comes with a specific challenge. I didn’t fancy the idea of putting swords into children’s hands and sending them off to battle giants and orcs, but I was short of other ideas. Thank goodness for Facebook friends!

Here are some of the ideas that were presented to me in order to challenge kids to be brave:

  • Have them order their own food at a restaurant or make a purchase on their own (with parent present of course).
  • They could write a letter to their favorite author (kind of goes with the reading thing…and it’s scary to write to people who are famous).
  • How about trying a new food that looks scary to them?
  • Try a new skill: craft, cooking, calling grandparents themselves… Anything “new,” but not at all “bad,” meaning they’re stretching themselves.

I think all of these are great, and I feel a bit bad that I only have space to put one on the handouts.

As a parent, I probably spend too much time thinking about how I can keep my kids safe, but that isn’t preparing them to be brave and face life with confidence. That’s why I was having trouble thinking of challenges for other kids, not to mention my own.

So I’m going to start doing these things with my kids. Maybe you can too. Not with my kids, use your own. And when the summer reading program comes around, all of our kids will be better prepared for the challenges coming their way.

Do you have other ideas to instill bravery in your kids? Please share in the comments below!

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One response to “Inspiring Bravery in Children

  1. Instilling ‘courage’ is very mush the same as allowing each child to know that they can select the ‘kind of individual’ they want to choose to be. A very liberating feeling in a time when no one wants to stick out!

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