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Share stories of courage

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Jane had an eye-opening experience when she shared with her 15-year-old daughter that she had lived on food cards and sacrificed to achieve her career as a nurse. Prior to that discussion, Jane felt her daughter really did not understand the depth of their poverty because the child had been too young to remember.

Jane came to realize it was an important part of her life that she should share with her daughter, especially at a time when the teen was becoming very materialistic. The girl enjoyed a very nice life and was unaware of the significant sacrifices that had helped provide her comfortable lifestyle.

Many mothers forget to share their stories of courage with their children. In this case, Jane’s story demonstrated several aspects of a mother’s courage:

• How to overcome a difficult time achieving a good level of comfort and security (that her daughter now enjoys).

• How to be open by providing her daughter with an example of courage, and how she intentionally used it to create a career and climb out of poverty.

• How to be vulnerable by sharing in an intimate conversation.

Recognizing teen profiles in courage

Unfortunately, many moms do not recognize when courage is demonstrated by their children. How can they if they can’t identify it in themselves?

Sandra Ford Walston, who is known as The Courage expert, shared a few examples children/teenagers may face. How many of these behaviour patterns are you able to teach and discuss with your children?

• It takes courage to confront bigotry and get to know someone different from you. Even small acts show character.

• It takes courage to speak openly about sexual misconduct by staff at school, such as inappropriate comments, jokes or physical contact.

• It takes courage to accept your looks and your beauty image.

• It takes courage not to lie or make little cheating changes (Once you start the lie you have to continue the lie).

• It takes courage to question/challenge a teacher’s viewpoint such as global warming, evolution (dissent is difficult at all ages) or negotiate your score on a paper or test.

• It takes courage to resist temptations particularly if people push you to do something wrong rather than maintain moral conviction.• It takes courage to declare your opinion, such as raising your hand when no one else will.

• It takes courage to stick up for a friend who is being bullied or ridiculed.

• It takes courage to stand up to a bully or walk away from someone with an imposing attitude.

• It takes courage to understand suicide whether as a choice or in grief.

• It takes courage to say “I am sorry” after you have lied or hurt someone.

• It takes courage to leave a clique that mistreats you.

• It takes courage to understand that even your mother can get cancer.

• It takes courage to accept your new step-parent.

• It takes courage to stand up to a bully or walk away from someone with an imposing attitude.

• It takes courage to say “no” to a friend who is encouraging a wrong action.

• It takes courage to not get wrapped up in other people’s opinions and the hook of a superficial world.

• It takes courage to move away from home, family and friends and head off to university.

• It takes courage to present in front of the class.

• It takes courage to cope daily with diabetes or asthma.

• It takes courage to ask your dream guy for a date to the prom.

• It takes courage to believe in and be yourself!

The best tactic to immerse courage into a child’s life is to start using the word! Many moms will struggle with this task if they are unable to give themselves permission to claim their courage. Eventually, mere exposure to the word and conscious courage actions such as those defined above will raise your awareness and you will find the outcome transforming and renewing (and so will your children).


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