Who wants to hold the tarantula?” the critter man asked. On his palm sat a very large, very hairy spider. The kids at the birthday party had been bouncing with excitement as he pulled one exotic creature after another out of cages. Even though the tarantula was smaller than the leathery tortoise and appeared friendlier than the 12-foot yellow python, I cringed at the thought of ever touching it. But with the critter man’s question, almost every single child seated before him shot a hand into the air! The critter guy laughed at their enthusiasm and when he picked my daughter to hold “Buddy,” I felt a surge of surprise and a twinge of pride. I whipped out my phone to take pictures.
There are different ways to show bravery and not all of them involve holding an exotic creature. While some kids are brave asking questions in the classroom, other kids are brave trekking around the neighborhood looking for someone to play with. Wondering if there’s some hidden bravery in your child? Here are 7 signs you have a brave child.

1. She tries new things.
My daughter had never ridden a roller coaster until age 12 when her robotics team took a field trip to an amusement park. I didn’t know beforehand if she’d ride the big rides, but she did! She rode five huge roller coasters that day. Though I admire her bravery at Cedar Point, I also admire her bravery attending a volleyball camp over the summer when she didn’t know anyone else. Taking healthy risks without a lot of pressure from you is a sign of a brave child.

2. He talks to people he doesn’t know.
My son is working on this skill, but maybe you have a child who’s adept at striking up conversations with others? That takes courage!

Taking healthy risks without a lot of pressure from you is a sign of a brave child.

3. She speaks up in the classroom.
Does your child like participating in class? Being vulnerable and answering or asking questions in front of others takes a certain amount of bravery. I’m working on this skill with both my kids. If yours isn’t afraid of getting something wrong, you have a brave kid!

4. He falls down, strikes out, or goofs up and keeps going.
This is hard! Nobody likes to mess up or feel embarrassed, but it takes a certain type of kid who’s able to laugh it off and continue on. It’s bravery of spirit! Praise him for it and he’ll keep picking himself up and carrying on.

5. She faces difficulties/challenges even when she doesn’t want to.
On the day of swim team tryouts, the weather looked fierce. The temperature in my car read 58 degrees. My kids sat quietly in the back seat, dreading the next few minutes. But they both wanted to make the team and bravely marched to the water and jumped in at their turn. I really had to congratulate them on this one!

6. He does things on his own.
Does your child go to sleepaway camp or walk to the corner store on his own to buy a popsicle? Does he stay at Grandma’s house for the weekend? Does he order his own meal at a restaurant or make fliers to distribute to the neighbors, advertising his new lawn mowing service? If your child does any of these things, he’s brave. And having bravery will serve him well throughout his life, when he changes schools, moves to a new state, or applies for a job.

7. She’s able to face discomfort or pain.
Going to the doctor isn’t a joyride, but how does your child handle it? For years, my son cried before getting his shots. It took years to realize the anticipation was worse than the shot itself. Now he’s better at annual checkups. Knowing pain is coming takes a certain amount of bravery whether it’s at the pediatrician’s office, in the dentist’s chair, or anywhere else your child is out of his comfort zone.
Bravery comes in many forms. Do you have a brave child? What does he or she do to show bravery?

Would you rather hold a snake or a tarantula?

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By Imom

ASK YOUR CHILD... Would you rather hold a snake or a tarantula?

Taking healthy risks without a lot of pressure from you is a sign of a brave child.

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