Taking The Leap…Why Our Kids Need to See Us Doing the Scary Stuff


How many times have you heard the phrase, “I can’t!” in your house? Or, how about a burst of crying that is actually all about your child’s fear of doing something he or she is scared to do? Let me be real honest with you: I may not throw myself on the floor and kick my feet, but there are times when “I can’t” is exactly what I’m thinking, too. Even though I’m a forty-something adult who is trying to raise my children to be strong and brave, I know firsthand I’m never too old to struggle with fear.

This looks different for each of us. For some moms, it may be fear about leaving the workforce and finding a new identity in a foreign “stay at home mom” world; for those heading back to work after having their babies, it might be the uncertainty of how to juggle it all. Perhaps you are thinking about starting your own business? Going back to school? Running a marathon? Whatever it is that makes you scared, here’s why it’s important that your kids see you push back on your fear and…go for it.

You are your child’s best example.

Think about that for a minute. We can impart wisdom on our children all day long, but words and actions are two very different things. It is powerful when our kids watch us stretch ourselves and step out of our comfort zones. Why? Because we are their real-life superheroes. And, when we show courage by pushing back on all of the potential roadblocks and “what-ifs” in our way, we give them permission to do the same thing in their own little lives. There is nothing more consequential than us leading the way.

When we face our fears, we give our kids a glimpse into our hearts.

It is so tempting to downplay what scares us, but we miss a tremendous opportunity when we fail to be transparent with our children. When I started a blog last summer to help other food allergy families like ours, I was very honest with my kids about how terrified I was to put myself out there in such a public way. And, that admission gave me a chance to talk to them about my why. When I explained the potential to encourage other food allergy families outweighed my fears of failure, it resonated with them. What is your why? Do you want to take on a new leadership role because you see a need and know you are the right person to meet it? Are you feeling a tug to start mentoring a child because you are confident you can make a difference? If your gut is telling you to do x,y or z, let your kids see the heart behind your decision to take the leap. There is such power in that level of honesty. 

There are lessons to learn along the way, regardless of the outcome.

Our kids may learn more by watching us try {and even fail} than by simply seeing us succeed. Mamas, we are not perfect. And, don’t we want our kids to be okay with that truth when they fall short themselves? When we push back on what scares us, our children witness courage and resilience in action, and even more, they see what it looks like to get up and try again when we don’t quite get there. Sure we want to snag the promotion, or finish writing that thesis, or reach our fitness goals, but there are lessons to learn even if it doesn’t happen.

There’s Nothing Your Children Want More Than To Share In Your Success

I promise you this- there is no one who will cheer you on louder than your children. Give your kids the chance to relish your wins with you! The truth is, if you don’t try, you’ll never know how good that feels.

What scares you? Is there something you’ve been putting off trying because your fear is holding you back? Remember that being brave isn’t just good for you, it’s GREAT for your kids.