There are certain things we can’t teach our SheHeroes. Many things we can only hope she figures out once she is placed in the right set of circumstances. Bravery is one of those things. My 8 year old SheHero (who just turned 8 this week) has always been a little on the introverted side. Until you get to know her than she is the silliest and funniest little person you’ve ever met of course. But this has always been her personality, and I’ve never thought much of it.
I feel strongly that every child, like every adult, is made up of unique personality traits and quirks that make us all unique. Each trait as valuable and wonderful as the next. That being said, there have been times over the years when I’ve feared that my daughter’s introverted personality has sometimes kept her from trying things she might actually really love doing and be quite good at.
But I’ve never pushed her. I’ve never pushed her into sports, or dance, or any other activities that she has shied away from. She has a close circle of good friends and enjoys playing and is pretty chatty and open with kids in her class at school. So I’ve just let her be herself. Like I said, never pushed. Even when I thought she’d love dance, love a sport or game that she shied away from.
Then this year she decided to join a few of her close friends and play softball. This was a big deal for her and once I was delighted to sign her up. As happy as she has been to play she still struggled in the beginning. Having all eyes on her while she’s up to bat or catching or pitching takes her far out of her comfort zone. But she’s doing it. And now we’re half way through the season, and something amazing has happened.
My daughter has tried out and made the school talent show.
Her and some friends are doing a hilarious Gangham Style (Kid’s Bop Version) dance routine. The audition took my sweet daughter farther out of her comfort zone than she has ever been and now she is looking forward to and pushing through the nervousness of actually performing at the big show.
Isn’t that what bravery is? Pushing through your comfort zone, trying new things and testing your own limits. And that’s what she has learned all on her own.
The parenting lesson I’ve learned? If you let your child be happy with who she is, the rest will come. She’ll find her own path and her own way and be confident in her ability to travel it.