2 Horrible Words We Need to Stop Using On Your Kids That Will Help You To Raise Brave Kids
Please welcome guest contributor Staci Levine. Today she shares a story on how we need to banish 2 words from our vocabulary to build confidence in our children.
I met Staci at the Outdoor Retailer show this past January. We got to talking and she said, “I’m an Adventure Mom!” and began telling me this incredible story of her spirited daughter. Instantly, I fell in love with her young daughters spirit and admired Staci for the amazing example of motherhood. See for yourself:
I don’t like the words “be careful”. I think separately they are fine words but when used together they can be rather negative – as in Brake! Slow down! Stop!
Really what we mean when we use those words is “you’re freaking me out so stop what you’re doing!” And doesn’t that inhibit their adventurous pursuits?
My little 9-year-old daughter has been one of those daring, fearless, adventurous kids since birth. No joke. She tried coming out with her umbilical cord around her neck because I’m assuming she wanted to bungee jump out. As soon as she saw water, she dove right in – headfirst. Swimming lessons were in order at age 2.
It’s true that she has inherited some of her adventurous spirit from her mother; I do love a good thrill myself. But when your baby wants to fling herself off a 30-foot platform, bungee jumping to the ground, right in front of you, that’s a whole other level of “be careful!”
Being a mother to a child like this is certainly an exercise in finger biting. I have chosen to not use those two horrible words, and instead embrace her wonderful, adventurous spirit and feed her soul with all the exciting thrills that life has to offer.
Our latest adventure is case in point. We were in Hawaii and my husband and I wanted to go zip lining. We weren’t sure if our daughter was tall enough – the website said she was but the person on the phone had a different answer, so we showed up anyway knowing once they looked in her eyes, they’d know who they were dealing with.
There were 5 couples and one kid.
The average age of the group looked to be about 35. And an 8 year old.
This was no novice zip lining – the shortest was 300 feet and the most thrilling was 1000 feet and it culminated with a bungee jump off a 30 foot platform to the ground. Our guides were nice young men and I think they were excited to have a little spitfire with us to make the day extra exciting
After a lengthy tutorial on what to expect, my daughter’s hand flew up when asked who wanted to go first.
She proceeded to go first on every line, insisting she would be the “tester” for us all. As soon as she realized she was going slower than the rest because she weighs less, she asked the guide to zip with her tandem so she’d go faster. What a joy for me to see her filled with so much life and happiness.
The last thrill of the day arrived. The guide explained what to expect on the bungee and once again, “ME FIRST!”
Now of course I knew she was safe, but when I say I was terrified watching her jump, my limbs were literally shaking with fear. But I absolutely didn’t let her see that. Rather I wanted her to see my excitement and anticipation and didn’t want to impart any of my fear onto her.
She jumped, landed with her feet on the ground and screamed up “Mommy that was so much fun, JUMP!”
And I did.
And it was so much fun.
Her favorite story is telling about the 10-foot wave she surfed while in surf lessons (really it was 4 feet) but I’ll save that story for next time…
How do you teach your children to be brave?
A partner in Los Angeles-based lifestyle PR agency, SnL Communications, www.snlc.net, Staci is an entrepreneur, mom of one energetic, full of life 8 year old girl, a wife, yogi, nature lover, interior design enthusiast and passionate traveler. Growing up in the fashion industry, Staci began to love fashion at a very young age. Living in California her whole life enjoying skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing and SUP, this aquarian truly loves the water.