The Exceptionally Ordinary Life

How to help your kids learn how to face their fears

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How to help your kids learn to face their fears

As I sat down in front of my laptop, pondering what message about fear I wanted to share with you, I realized one thing: This, writing blog posts, sharing tips with you, putting myself out there, is my way of doing things scared, of facing my fears. Because, no matter how grown up we are, or how much we have faced in life, we all deal with fears, some big, some small.

And our kids are no different.

Take mine for example. My older 2 kids (20 & 21, respectively), are the cautious kind of people, the kind of kids who stay away from drugs and alcohol (good), but also from changing jobs when feeling stuck with their current one, or from trying a scary ride at the fair (bad). My youngest (10, going on 20) is, by all accounts, fearless. She is the kind of kid that will go skydiving or zip-lining with you in a heartbeat, and who has no issues talking to people wherever we go, or trying new things.

But even my little Ms Emma must fear something, right? Well, I asked her what she was afraid of and here is what she said:

  1. spiders
  2. giant spiders
  3. Covid-19

None of her fears are irrational. I mean, spiders are scary. Giant spiders are scarier. And Covid-19? Well, we all know by now that there is no cure, medication or vaccine for it (yet), so I can completely understand her fear that her family, friends or even herself could get it. And that’s a fear that I believe we all face right now, even if it’s only a little bit.

I believe the difference between her and her siblings is that she is more than willing to face those fears head on, whereas the older 2 are more hesitant, and often need a slight push (or a hard shove) to get them going.

How to help your kids learn to face their fears

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Nevertheless, we all have fears (even my fearless Ms Emma). And even if those fears are not paralyzing (like my fear-or phobia- of sharks, even if it’s just a picture or video), there are some important things about fear that we should all keep in consideration. That’s why when I saw New York Times Bestselling author Ruth Soukup’s new book for kids How Big is Your Brave? I knew I had to check it out.

*Note: I have been a huge fan of Ruth Soukup’s blog Living Well Spending Less for a number of years. In fact, it is thanks to her guide that I learned how to use coupons correctly in the first place. And just a couple years ago I decided to take the leap and join her Elite Blog Academy community, so I consider her a mentor and a teacher for my blogging venture. I admire her and her work. However, my opinion about this new book is unbiased and entirely my own.

How Big is Your Brave? narrates the story of an adorable bunny named Zippy, who dreams of becoming an astronaut, but feels it’s an impossible dream. Zippy would love nothing more than to make her dream come true, but in order to do that, she must face her fears so that they don’t stand in her way.

Here are the most important lessons about fear that How Big is Your Brave? can help you teach your kids (and you too!):

Your why must be bigger than your fear

Your why is your reason for wanting to do something. It’s the one ingredient that will give you that small push or hard shove to go past that fear. But if your way is not big enough, then you might lack motivation. Basically, you must care deeply about what you want to do. Otherwise, you won’t feel that drive to conquer your fears and take action.

Action is the antidote to fear

Just sitting around doing nothing about your dreams will not get you any further. Because the fact is, when we first start doing something, anything, there will always be a learning curve, a process where it feels like you are doing it all wrong, and not working out. But as with everything in life, the more you do something, the better you get at it. So, in a way, when you take action, not only are you able to conquer fear, but you will also get better at it, and will get the confidence you need to continue to work on it.

Everyone needs accountability

This means is that, when facing your fears it is always helpful to make others a part of your journey. Those others will be the ones to cheer you on, and keep you on track when you feel like quitting, or like it’s not really worth it to face your fears head on and dare to do what it takes to conquer them. Therefore, sharing your dreams AND your fears with those closest to you will keep you accountable, reminding you of what really matters: your goals and dreams.

The only thing you can control is you

No matter what your fears are, things can and will happen. That is a fact of life. There’s only so much we can control, and that one thing, will always be how you deal with things, your response to those events. Because, your reactions will be what make you or break you. Thus, when you choose to deal with situations in a smart and positive way, you will find a way to plow thru and come out the other side stronger than you were before.

How Big is Your Brave?

Bravery is not the absence of fear. Rather, it is taking action despite our fears. That means that the bigger your brave is the stronger and more confident you will feel about facing those fears.

If your kids (or you) are struggling to get past their fears and become more confident to achieve their goals, then I highly recommend How Big is Your Brave?. What’s best is that, if you pre-order by 5/4/20 you will get access to the amazing bonuses that go along with it, like a curriculum guide and an activity kit.

What’s best is that this book was inspired by Ruth’s book Do it scared, which is all about facing all those fears that are holding you back in order to create a life you love. In Do it scared Ruth gives you the inspiration and the tough love she is well-known for to help you recognize your fears, and take action in spite of them. In conclusion, both How Big is Your Brave? and Do it scared are fantastic tools and must-have books for your and your kid’s personal library. Truly worth it.

Now tell me, are you struggling to help your kids face their fears and take action in spite of them? How can I help?

Please, share with us in the comments.

How to help your kids learn to face their fears

How to help your kids learn how to face their fears

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