Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point ~ C. S. Lewis

Our character trait this month is courage.  The SLO Classical Academy Character and Code of Conduct defines courage as: "Attempting difficult things that are worthwhile and facing difficulties and challenges with determination to do the right thing even when others don't."

How can we work on fostering courage?  Maybe start off with something small like thinking up a new food to try.  Perhaps each family member can write down one thing they are nervous about or afraid of (public speaking, sleeping without a nightlight, riding a bike without training wheels) and then in talking about it come up with one tangible way to face that fear and work on it a little bit at a time.  Think of people who have courage and discuss why they are courageous or how their actions showed courage.  Most of us will not have to rush into a burning building and pull someone to safety, but more likely our courage will be tested in other ways--talking with someone new, going somewhere unfamiliar, starting a new job, not joining the crowd in a questionable activity.

What are your ideas on instilling courage in your family? Leave a comment and be entered into a drawing for a Jamba Juice gift card!  Contest closes next Monday.  Don't miss our Classic Pre-School story hour tomorrow at 9:30 in the Lewis Library. Invite a friend!

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Anonymous said...

I have one child in particular who tends to be afraid of things. Thanks for the reminder that this is a great month to work on it! I love the ideas you have here.
Jenny Bischoff

Carol Dichmann said...

Thanks for this great post!! I love that there are values and worthwhile traits assigned every month. Our family has been dealing with some unexpected "drama". We have been very open with our children about it. We decided to use this experience as a lesson for our kids on why it's important to have value's like integrity, kindness, humility, responsibility and COURAGE! It's not always easy to have courage but the sense of confidence felt cannot be replicated elsewhere! Stand up for what's right! Stand up for what you believe in! Have Courage! Thanks again!

Amy Calloway said...

Fear is something we struggle with in our household and so I love that courage is one of our character traits! We are continually working on this and when our child struggles with fear (typically a new situation), we remind him of previous situations where things turned out all right - he just needed courage to take the first step.

Thank you for these ideas!

Donna Jacobson said...

At our house, we often ask "What's the worst thing that can happen?" and go down that road. Usually we conclude that while the "worst thing" isn't desirable, we'd still be OK. Kind of an unusual pep talk, but with my kids, at least, it tends to take some of the "scary" out of trying something new.

pennymalley said...

Courage is a character trait that is sometimes best discovered after the fact. For example, I could ask my son to name something he's scared to do and then ask him to do it anyway, knowing he'll learn what courage is in the process. But a different approach that has worked for us in the past is to remind our son of a time when he exhibited courage, like when he stood up for his younger brother. He didn't put a name to that character quality until we pointed it out to him. Now he knows what courage "feels like", and that we acknowledge and appreciate this trait when it's seen.

Merideth said...

It's funny because for me courage often comes after I have ventured into new territoy when the self doubt starts to creep in and drown out all that I know to be true. I have to dig deep and muster all the courage and strength to stay the course.

Anonymous said...

I love being reminded of the character traits at SLOCA!! It is just one of the many wonderful things about this school... I am truly thankful that my daughter is able to attend here!

I LOVE it when I recognize a courageous act by my child... it makes my heart smile... As of recent she has shown courage with what she feels is right or kind towards other children and will stand up for someone. This has taken some time of growth in a shy child.


Chad Theule said...

There is nothing like a good book or movie to help highlight courage. Being courageous can be taught AND caught. It can also be somewhat addictive. I want my kids to be in the habit of courage. Doing the right thing ...being courageous....when it is not easy.

the pleated poppy said...

one of my kids in particular is afraid of a lot of things, but mostly of failure. and being open to failure takes courage! it is scary trying something new and knowing you may fail at it! we try to encourage her to be ok with things not being perfect, and that you can learn a lot from your mistakes.

The McCabes said...

What do zucchini, tomatoes and pasta have in common? Courage! Wait, what? Yep, Courage. Aidan, although as a baby ate pretty much everything in sight, has spent most of the last few years staying away from things that he wasn't familiar with, looked different, smelled different, or just plain didn't seem appealing. Well, it's taken some time, but Aidan has finally decided that it's better to try new things than have to wonder if maybe he is missing out on something because he wouldn't give it a try.

One night last week, Aidan decided on his own that he was going to try everything included in the dinner we made, two of those things were things that he previously would refuse to try...Tomatoes and Zucchini. Now, I know this seems like a small thing, but not to him. On this night, we praised him for his courage in trying something new, and being an example of that courage to his 4 year brother as well.

A small step for mankind, but a big step for Aidan!