Are We Raising Brave or Fearful Kids?

by Linsey Driskill

I once heard a story about a mom who went to the mall with her friends. All her friends’ kids were eating cheerios in their strollers just as they were told, while her daughter suddenly ripped off all her clothes and jumped into the mall fountains! At the time, she was horrified, but that same spirited child ended up becoming a missionary. A strong and passionate spirit is a beautiful thing. Yes, we want to instill respect, but God also uses the spunk and spirited parts of our kids’ personalities in great ways- let’s not quench that so they can explore, dream, discover, and become confident in the difference makers God has called each of them to be!

What creates a fearful child? Sissy Goff and Dave Thomas (counselors and authors) say fearful parents raise fearful kids. What do we convey to our kids? Do we allow them to explore and learn for themselves (within healthy limits), or are we constantly saying ‘be careful’ and protecting their every move, not giving them the freedom to discover and learn on their own? This spoke to me because I have to restrain myself from constantly saying ‘Be careful’, and ‘Don’t do that’. When I withhold these words, it is such a freeing feeling. These counselors said that CONFIDENCE grows in a child when they learn that they are ABLE. Let’s (including myself!) release our kids from an overprotective nature, and give them opportunities to learn that they are able, so they can be confident.

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Mark Twain Quote