While trying new things can often be exciting and surprising, it may conjure up feelings of fear and dread for some boys depending on their temperament and personality.
This is understandable, given new experiences move us out of our comfort zone. They can be challenging and often require a level of bravery.
Trying new things opens our eyes to the world. Stepping out of our comfort zone can opens doors to opportunities and can lead to a great sense of achievement and enjoyment.
Here are our eight top tips for encouraging your son to try new things:
1. Create an adventure passport (younger boys)
Spend time with your son brainstorming some exciting activities and adventures he could try. These could be activities involving the whole family, friends, or just your son. Create an ‘Adventure Passport,’ so he can see his progress and be proud of his achievements. Remind your son that you will be there to help and watch him succeed.
2. Praise him
Recognise your son’s courage when he tries something new. It may be as small as trying a new food or as great as attending an interview for a weekend job. Recognise his efforts and remind him how his courage is a great asset.
3. Talk it out
Talk to your son about why it is important for him to try new things, even if he is feeling anxious or scared. Explain that it may lead to other opportunities and experiences that could include some of his favourite things. We all need to learn to be brave!
4. Give him a push
Sometimes your son will need a push. This may be an encouraging conversation or some physical assistance. Often this final push will get him over the line and he will (hopefully) be thankful for your support.
5. Let him go
Often parents hold their children back due to their own underlying fears. Release your fears and allow your son to take ‘safe’ risks. By encouraging controlled risk-taking, you will give him confidence to try new things more readily.
6. Model appropriate behaviour
Show your son how it’s done! Allow him to see you trying new things and model the appropriate behaviour. Talk him through your thoughts and feelings and show him that stress or anxiety won’t stop you from trying new things and taking ‘safe’ risks.
7. Build his self-esteem
Some risk adverse children suffer from low self-esteem and find it challenging to try new things for fear of failure. If your son feels comfortable with who he is, he will ultimately take more risks. Build your son’s self-esteem by providing a loving and supportive environment to take risks. This will give him the freedom to experiment.
8. Embrace failure
Remind your son that failing is an essential element of learning. We all had to fall many times before we learned to walk. After all, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill
For over a century, Trinity Grammar School has guided boys to grow in mind, body and spirit. We know what boys need to truly flourish and succeed. Our exceptional staff encourage and support the boys as they take calculated risks and try new things for the benefit of their education.
To learn more about the Trinity difference, download our prospectus: