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It’s Best to Face Your Fears and Let Your Kids Face Their Fears, Too (Day Ten: Twelve Days of Wisdom)

P6300072To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. -Pema Chodron

Is there anything more painful than watching your child suffer? But when we shield our kids from the lumps Life dishes out, we rob them of the critical growing-up experiences that will make them into strong, brave, confident adults later.

There’s a lot of talk these days about giving children self-esteem. It’s not something you can give; it’s something they have to build. Coach Graham worked in a no-coddling zone. Self-esteem? He knew there was really only one way to teach kids how to develop it: You give them something they can’t do, they work hard until they find they can do it, and you just keep repeating the process. -Randy Pausch

Here are three good essays on not protecting kids too much:

Losing Is Good For You

Giving a Child Permission to be Miserable

In Some Other Cultures Kids are Encouraged to Struggle

This goes for ourselves, too. We all need some challenge in our lives to keep us developing.

Here’s a great TED talk on why disappointment is not psychologically damaging.

And I like these small books, both of which explain in simple terms how anxiety develops and provide good suggestions for coping. I sometimes give one or both to an anxious student:

Extinguishing Anxiety, by Catherine Pittman and Elizabeth Karle

Little Ways to Keep Calm and Carry On, by Mark Reinecke

It’s Best to Face Your Fears and Let Your Kids Face Their Fears, Too (Day Ten: Twelve Days of Wisdom)


Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS

Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS is an educator, counselor, writer and speaker. She's been a tutor, test prep coach and home school teacher for over thirty years. Click HERE to visit Leigh's website and to subscribe to her newsletter, "Learning Something New."


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APA Reference
Cousins, L. (2015). It’s Best to Face Your Fears and Let Your Kids Face Their Fears, Too (Day Ten: Twelve Days of Wisdom). Psych Central. Retrieved on September 16, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/always-learning/2015/01/its-best-to-face-your-fears-and-let-your-kids-face-their-fears-too-day-ten-twelve-days-of-wisdom/

 

Last updated: 8 Jan 2015
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