Free printable / This week’s special:
I’m reminded of an article I read by the blogger/author mom of Momastery. In the article she is responding to a mom who asks her about what brave means. And Glennon responds by telling us of a situation when she took her daughters to get their ears pierced. Her youngest, jumped right onto the chair. No reservations. (Like my son.) Her little little was ready and everyone smiled and complimented how brave she was. When she was done, it was older sister’s turn. But she wasn’t so sure, she had reservations. (Like my daughter.) Quietly, she announced that she wasn’t ready and “the well-meaning ear-piercer said, ‘Sure you are, sweetie! Be brave! Your little sister did it!'”
The article, single-handedly, made me rethink the way I parent when it comes to courage.
As an adult, I know what my limits are and I am not afraid to say no. I trust that no one knows better than me what is better for me. So why as a parent should I think any differently? Shouldn’t I trust my kids to know the same? This summer there were plenty of times my daughter wanted to jump into the pool. Her little soul wanted to jump and her little heart wouldn’t let her. She was scared so she kept asking me or Husband to move closer, to catch her. At a different time I might have said, “Be brave. Just do it.” But why? Does jumping make her brave? Is she braver for going against her little voice and jumping? Or is she just as brave for listening to herself instead of others. Isn’t courage also being brave enough to say no?
Let’s put it in a different scenario. What if she was 16 and her friends were asking her to get into a car with someone who had been drinking and they say, “Oh Daughter Girl, just get in. You’re being silly. Nothing is going to happen.” Does getting in make her brave? Or does listening to her intuitive heart that is warning her against the situation make her braver? I’m not an expert mom but I know which choice I’d rather she pick.
There will be so many other people in our kids’ lives that will unintentionally make them feel like brave is leaping. Brave is jumping. Brave is doing. Do I have to be one of those people? I don’t. I shouldn’t. I should be the reminder that it is just as courageous to understand our own limitations as it is to “be brave” and take the leap, whatever the leap may be.
Having courage isn’t always loud. And it isn’t always action. And it certainly isn’t based on what others believe you should do. Turn down that noise. Sometimes courage is in the quiet confidence that what you are doing is what’s right for you and nobody else.