At Athlos schools, we focus on teaching children the importance of 12 traits that we call Performance Character traits. Our Performance Character pillar recognizes the deep connection between these traits and success. The development of Performance Character is integrated into every learning opportunity, allowing students to experience this connection first hand. Traits like humility, leadership, and courage become a lens through which students view their learning as about more than grades, but as learning for life.
Like all important lessons, reinforcing learning at home is a key factor to success. One of the best ways for parents to do this is to positively model the traits at home and encourage trait development. In our 12-part ‘Performance Character at Home’ blog series, we offer simple, yet effective, ways to support children’s Performance Character development. In this blog, we look at courage.
“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
– Louisa May Alcott
What is courage?
Athlos defines courage as taking risks and standing up for what is right.
Why is courage important?
There are many ways to define courage, some try to focus on a “hero” type where an individual faces amazing feats in the face of overwhelming fear. Though it’s important to recognize those who fit that persona, most acts of courage are exhibited in small and often unseen actions. At Athlos schools, we strive to help students develop this trait in everyday fears such as math or English, public speaking, taking tests, building friendships, and more. As students learn how to manage their fears and stress, they begin to learn what it means to have courage.
How can I help my child develop courage?
Some children have more courage than others, but everyone is afraid of something. By taking small opportunities to listen and understand your child’s fears, you can find creative ways to foster this trait in your family.
Here are some ways you can help your family develop this trait at home:
- Help your child try something new. Though this might seem like a simple task, instilling the habit of trying new things can be a building block for courage. The more we are used to trying new things when they are easy, the easier it will be to do things when they are hard.
- Courage alone doesn’t help a beginner hiker to climb the tallest mountain, you must first start small. Challenge your student to do a task that is age appropriately difficult, yet, possible. When the student succeeds, celebrate in their effort and discuss how the task involved developing courage. As the student sees themselves succeed, they will be more willing to take on more difficult tasks in the future.
- Take time to talk with your child for at least 15 minutes a day. Sometimes the most courageous thing a child can do is to discuss thoughts and feelings. As you make a habit of listening to your student through daily discussions, your child will feel more comfortable discussing successes as well as challenges.
- Find ways to nurture a conscience in your child. This can be done by recognizing them for when they stand up to do the right thing, or for accomplishing a task they weren’t sure they could do. Doing so will help them develop a sense of pride and ethics that will lead them to learn to make more decisions later in life.