In our Family, we accept new Opportunities, Ideas and Experiences
- Encourage your children to identify particular skills they would like to have a go at developing. It might be trying a new instrument, joining a club, learning a skill from You Tube. Model learning new skills yourself. Learn an instrument, try a new style of cooking, have a go at a new sport or learn to bake bread. Share your progress along the way!
- Some children invest time in what they are already good at, steering away from activities that may be a little threatening or challenging. Reflect back to them that anything new can be daunting, perhaps reminding that the activities they now feel confident in, were once threatening and challenging!
- Encourage your children to develop a wide range of interests and hobbies, rather than focusing on just one or two interests. Explain how a wide range of interests and hobbies help us to find things to talk about, and make connections when we meet people.
- Having tried a new challenge or experience, encourage your children to reflect on the experience. For example “How were you feeling about this beforehand? What helped you? Are you glad you took the risk? What good things came out of it? What advice would you give yourself next time you are in a similar situation? “
- Broaden your children’s experiences. Introduce them to a wide range of foods, encouraging them to try everything at least once. Plan family days out where you can try new activities together as a family. Introduce them to different social groups rather than people who are similar to them.
- Recognise when your children courageously step out of their comfort zone. Don’t assume what is easy for you will be easy for them. Validate their courage to have a go, even if they didn’t get much further than that. For example: “You tried an anchovy! Who cares if you spat it out; you still tried it!”
- Teach your children that nerves are a natural response to a new situation; comedians, actors, politicians, sportsmen all feel nervous leading up to an event. Normalise their nerves. For example “Of course you feel nervous going into Year Nine; it’s a big transition and most people would feel a mixture of excitement, nerves and worry.” Help them see adrenaline as a form of healthy stress that can energise and motivate us – to accept it as a physiological part of their preparation, and not be afraid of it.
- Model having new ideas and sharing them with your children, however unrealistic, ridiculous or novel they might be! Help them to see that creativity and innovation is about risk and thinking out of the box. Play our fun scenarios. For example: “What would you invent? What problem would you like to solve? Imagine if ……hadn’t been invented, what would be different?”