We talked a few weeks ago about how we have to prepare our kids to answer the call for courage. We’ve talked about needing to equip them with the fortitude necessary to step out into this crazy world. We’ve talked about how we want kids who are resilient, who are able to overcome obstacles, who see opportunity and run towards it when others run away.
How do we accomplish this? How do we teach them to be brave?
The same way we raise them to be a reader, to be respectful, to be selfless, to be anything. You have to do the things you want them to do. You have to embody who you want them to become. It’s easy to tell them to be brave, to take chances, to not be afraid. But as we’ve said, your kids are watching you more than they are listening to you. If you are not practicing what you preach, then you are not preaching at all—you are bloviating at best, gaslighting at worst.
You tell them to be brave, but have you shown them what bravery looks like? Have they seen you stand up for what’s right? Get up in front of a crowd? Take risks in your career? Have you shown them that when you’re hurting it’s ok to ask for help? Have they seen you want to quit but refuse to give up?
As a Dad you can talk about courage, but your actions are always going to speak louder than your words.
Remember: A little fellow follows you. Your kids are always watching. We have to model the behavior we want our kids to learn. If you want them to be brave, you don’t have a choice—you have to be brave first.