Kindness Habit 8:

Show Courage

Stand up, speak out
and help others

See activities

What is it?

Up isn’t just a direction or a delightful, animated film. Up is an action. You lift UP the spirits of someone feeling down. You stand UP for someone when they need it. In other words: you act like an upstander, not a bystander. You can encourage more UP actions by helping kids learn about moral courage, which makes them more likely to act on their empathetic urges and help others. Sounds like an UPstanding skill indeed :)

Why is it important?

When kids stand up for others, they benefit as much as the person they’re helping. They’re more likely to stick to their beliefs against peer pressure and steer away from situations that counter their family values. And they’ll likely be happier too, because showing courage boosts resilience, confidence, and willpower.

Help kids get the habit

Highlight Heroes:

Tell kids about the altruistic leaders you admire, and show them how they can be heroes, too!

Small-Scale Courage:

Kids learn courage by practicing in small steps. For any situation or concern where fear, worry or anxiety take over, encourage and celebrate the tiniest risk outside of what’s comfortable.

Positive Self Talk:

Even Navy SEALS learn this habit! Create a memorable phrase kids can repeat to themselves when they need it, like “I can do this” or “I think I can.”

Expect Social Responsibility:

Kids are more likely to help others if it’s a family expectation. Help make it one by making it clear that you are a family of helpers!

Activities

Practice Showing Courage at home :) These are ideas to inspire new traditions. Did you know when kids are asked to teach, it makes ideas more memorable?

Kindness Creation Challenge: Do you have an idea for a new way to Show Courage at home? Adults, submit your family’s ideas here for a chance to share it with the world!

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*Research and material is sourced and adapted from Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed In Our All-About-Me World.

Learn more about Dr. Michele Borba