Every parent wants their kids to grow to be strong, self-sufficient adults who can achieve anything they set their minds to. Since parents have the opportunity to help their kids set values, it’s important that they teach them to be bold and fearless: qualities that will serve them the rest of their lives. These values will provide ease when their kids ultimately go after things like a raise at work, that dream job, or starting a business.
Here are a few ways to encourage your kids to be bold.
1. Encourage them to try to answer their own questions.
Do your kids often ask questions? That’s great. Since part of being bold is being okay with being wrong, ask your kids to try to answer their own questions. They will likely be wrong - and that’s the point. The fact that they’re willing to try will help, and also cultivate a sense of self-sufficiency.
At first, it may be frustrating for them to continue coming up with wrong answers (or thinking of one at all), but ask them to take a wild guess. Bonus: this promotes creativity, too.
2. Help them understand that life is happening FOR them.
The opposite of being bold is having a victim mindset. Whereas many kids (adults, too!) may experience hardships or setbacks and think it happened TO them, you can help your kids cultivate a boldness by asking them to look for the silver lining in every situation. Hunter Ballew, founder of BOLDx, shared that this was a critical part of his experience growing up. “It’s all about perspective,” he shared with me. “Once I changed how I viewed hardships, I changed how I viewed myself.”
Did they fail a test? Ask them, “How can this help you as you move forward?” Is a friend being mean to them? Ask, “How can this ultimately help you?”
“At first, this type of question could confuse your kids, but after a while they’ll start to ask themselves - why is this happening FOR me, not to me?” Ballew added.
3. Help them find a bold role model and read about their life.
Especially in today’s digital era, it can be too easy for your kid’s role model to be an Instagram influencer or a celebrity. Help them switch the narrative by presenting them with stories about truly bold role models - people like Harriet Tubman and Greta Thurnberg. If there’s one story or role model they express a strong interest in, find books and videos about their work to further encourage the interest.
Over time, these three steps will help your kids step into the boldness they were born to realize.