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#182466 - 09/17/09 07:50 PM Teaching, learning, and practicing courage.
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
I think courage should be discussed more often than it is. I think courage should be taught, learned, and practiced. I think courage is a survival skill.

Thoughts?

Thanks.

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#182467 - 09/17/09 08:13 PM Re: Teaching, learning, and practicing courage. [Re: dweste]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
I have to think on this one, as I am more inclined to think of courage as an inherent aspect of one’s character, rather than a skill that can be taught, learned or practiced. I tend to believe courage is the result of one being tested under spontaneous conditions that are not easily duplicated in a controlled setting. Perhaps the closest one can come to developing courage is to witness true courage in another and attempt to emulate the characteristic.

Pete

Additionally, courage can take many forms. It is somewhat easy to recognize courage in the throws of war, an emergency or disaster, but can also take many, subtler forms. A cancer patient willing to endure months or years of pain and treatment, the loving spouse who cares for their loved one, despite their own pain and suffering, a child willing to stand up to peer pressure in order to do the right thing, an employee willing to stand against the unethical behavior of their employer. There are hundreds of examples of courage both large and small everyday and yes, there are incredible acts of courage that standout far and above the rest, but who are we to judge, which acts are greater or lesser examples of sacrifice.


Edited by paramedicpete (09/17/09 08:28 PM)
Edit Reason: added comments

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#182469 - 09/17/09 08:24 PM Re: Teaching, learning, and practicing courage. [Re: dweste]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3684
Loc: TX
Definitely, this is something DW and I strive to install in our children. One way we've been working on this arose from something we read in Malcom Gladwell's book Outliers: The Story of Success. While doing research for this book he noticed an interesting trend where young children (4yrs old and up) from wealthy/successful families were encouraged by their parents to interact directly with adults rather than the parents doing it on there behalf. For instance, at a doctor's visit the child answers all the doc's questions. Obviously if the child leaves something out the parent reminds the child but doesn't step into the conversation unless something major is being overlooked. Meanwhile, in poorer households the parent(s)handled all the child's interactions with adults, the kids were just passive.

We follow the first principle. Whether it's a doctor, librarian, or someone is handing out free balloons DD1 (6yr) and DD2 (3yr) have to do all the talking if they want something from that person. In the beginning it was hard and there were a lot of tears and missed opportunities, but now they are great at it.

Now if they would just stop being freaked out by automatic toilets...

-Blast

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#182471 - 09/17/09 08:34 PM Re: Teaching, learning, and practicing courage. [Re: paramedicpete]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3684
Loc: TX
Originally Posted By: paramedicpete
I tend to believe courage is the result of one being tested under spontaneous conditions that are not easily duplicated in a controlled setting.


But there are lots of uncontrolled settings in everyday life, especially for kids. The world is a much scarier (in some ways) place for them than for adults. Having the kids deal with these situations (say, explaining to a librarian why a book is torn) requires them to have/display as much courage as an adult needs to race into a burning building to save someone. Having the child deal with the librarian now will help prepare for larger demands of courage later.

There are limits to this, I'm not saying that is all it takes. But at least it is something.

-Blast

p.s. Jackie, I'm not implying librarians are vicious monsters or anything like that! blush
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*As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn a sales commission on Amazon links in my posts.

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#182476 - 09/17/09 09:06 PM Re: Teaching, learning, and practicing courage. [Re: Blast]
scafool Offline
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Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 1534
Loc: Muskoka
What is courage except being totally terrified to do something and then doing it anyhow?
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#182477 - 09/17/09 09:07 PM Re: Teaching, learning, and practicing courage. [Re: Blast]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
I understand what you are saying and to some degree I agree, you can provide some guidance in learning to deal with “scary” or unfamiliar situations and yes they require courage. I would tend to call these learned behaviors more as coping skills. For me, true courage, are actions that go above and beyond the normal, but that is just I.

Pete

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#182485 - 09/17/09 10:31 PM Re: Teaching, learning, and practicing courage. [Re: paramedicpete]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
At a child's age, courage is not physical. And as adults we far to often, I think, confuse bravery for courage.

I think Blast hits on an important point, teaching your child to speak for them self. It's scary for a child to address a big scary adult. However, after working with my son (6) I am complimented by adults who say he is the first child to actually look them in the eyes and have a conversation with them. And I know it scares the crap outta him.

What is courage to child?
*Telling the truth knowing it could incriminate them.
*Sticking up for the defense of a friend.
*Not blaming others for failure.
*Protecting his family from criticism for sure and hopefully never from physical abuse.
*Trusting adults is a very big step in courage for a child.
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#182487 - 09/17/09 11:01 PM Re: Teaching, learning, and practicing courage. [Re: Blast]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
+1 on letting kids have a voice. I think that is part of why my brother and I have the big, loud, assertive mouths that we've got today. *laughs* Knowing how to speak for yourself, and speak clearly and well, are critical life skills. It is as much a confidence builder as survival and medical skills are, IMHO, and for the same reason- you are your own master. Hard to take that from someone once they have it.

And Blast, I'm a 33 year old engineer, and I sometimes get freaked out by the autoflush toilets, particularly when you are sitting there, minding your business and they want to flush themselves. For a little kid, that's got to be pretty hair raising.


Edited by ironraven (09/17/09 11:03 PM)
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#182492 - 09/18/09 12:00 AM Re: Teaching, learning, and practicing courage. [Re: dweste]
Jeff_M Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/18/07
Posts: 665
Loc: Northwest Florida
Teach, learn, practice... and demonstrate courage. Traits of character are best transmitted to children by the example of their parents and other adults in their life. Set high standards for them, but expect no more than you deliver yourself.

Also, let them have heroes. Learn to point out and discuss the admirable traits and behaviors of others in life, and in fiction, with your children. Highlight what is good and noble in people. Biographies make good reading for young minds, so make well written books about worthy people available to your children. Buffer the amount of worldly sleaze and cynicism they are exposed to in their early years.

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#182499 - 09/18/09 01:31 AM Re: Teaching, learning, and practicing courage. [Re: Jeff_M]
oldsoldier Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 742
Loc: MA
Courage, as others said, I think is something you dont think of at the time; when I think of people with personal courage, I tend to think of people who beat odds-things they cannot prepare for. Ones who make decisions, when either could be disastrous. The guy who cut his arm off, when it was pinned by a boulder. People who run into a burning building to save someone. Kids who stand up for themselves. Folks who face adversity, whether it be medical, financial, personal, whatever, with grim determination. I dont think these can be taught, per se; people either rise to the occasion, or not.
JEff, I agree with allowing them to have heroes-to a point. I think these day the word "hero" is thrown around too much. I cant really say that athletes, musicians, and most famous people are "heroes"-sure, they do good things, but that doesnt make them heroes. Their position in life ALLOWS them to do those things. We need to start steering away from hero worship to the wrong people. We need to identify TRUE heros-everyday people who, when faced with extraordinary circumstances, rose to the occasion. Put aside their own fears, wants, worries, and pain, and helped a fellow human being. These are the people we need to elevate to hero status. Not someone who makes tons of money, and donates to a cause. Thats not heroic-thats helping out the less fortunate.

I just reread this, and I DONT want you to take it the wrong way. I agree with you, I just want people to select heroes for the right reasons. In most greek tragedies, the hero died for the greater good-somewhere along the way, the self-sacrificing part (not necessarily dying though) got lost in the translation.
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