It can be challenging for your kids to try new things since it is out of their comfort zone. They are continually being bombarded by new experiences, that when we purposefully request them to take on something new, it can make them feel overwhelmed.
On the other hand, not all experiences are created equal; we know as parents that certain experiences will simply be great for them to try or that we feel confident that they will likely enjoy it. The goal is to help them find enjoyment in the trying of new things, and not to worry about succeeding or failing.
And herein lies the most crucial support a parent can give: we should not concern ourselves with their success rate. They, in turn, will become more afraid of failing; leading to a fear of the unknown and avoidance of new experiences.
So how do we encourage our kids to try new things, instilling in them a love of exploration and embracing failure?
Benefits of Trying New Things
Trying new things can enhance your kids’ creativity. In addition, it boosts their self-confidence as trying something new takes courage and confidence.
And after realizing that they have what it takes to do something beyond their comfort zone, they are likely to acquire a new skill and appreciate themselves even more. In the end, it allows them to see the world from a new perspective.
If you want your kids to reap these benefits, here are seven ways you can encourage them to try new things:
Acknowlege Their Efforts
As your kids grow older, everything around them will have to be associated with productivity. Something they do should bring about actual results.
This mindset isn’t going to get your kids far since bringing in results requires a constant state of learning and relearning, something that they are yet to master. Therefore, you shouldn’t be so hard on your kids for not being able to get a notable outcome of new things that they try.
As long as they make the effort to try new things, then that effort should be acknowledged. That way, they will be more motivated to further their skills and not be discouraged from trying out new things simply because they aren’t good at it the first time.
Be Open to Communication
When your kids are trying out new things, you should welcome any communication with them.
It’s common for kids to whine when doing something that is outside of their element. But instead of scolding them, it is advisable to encourage them to pursue things and let them stop and rest when needed.
Communication isn’t only about talking. It is also about listening, so make sure that you listen to their concerns. Having open and sincere communication with your kids will help them know that you are behind the supporting their endeavors no matter what.
Don’t Force Them
There are instances when you have to sign your kids to participate on something that they are less likely to join. However, forcing them to do something won’t help them in the long run.
Sure, you can encourage them to try something new. But instead of signing them up yourselves, it’s better to ask them first whether they want to give things a try. If they don’t want to, then let them be.
You can ask them after a week or two. After all, kids tend to change their minds often.
Praise Their Creativity
Trying new things means that your kids can experiment and do something unconventional. You may even be surprised by ho they’d like to use the printable for kids you bought them.
As your kids are becoming more open to these things, then so should you.
If you ‘d like your kids to try sports, yet they express interest in something less sporty, encourage them still. What’s important is that they are taking the initiative. That said, praise them for doing so.
Who knows? Their creativity might just be the first step to exploring things unknown to them.
Let Them Take Control
When you encourage your kids to try new things, then you should let them go about it in their chosen method.
You should be there as their support system but it doesn’t mean that you should hold their hand entirely throughout the process.
Don’t be too controlling of whatever it is that they do so they aren’t suffocated and don’t have the space to grow.
Create an Adventure Diary
You can help your kids have a change in perspective when it comes to trying new things out by letting them document the experience in their own way.
One way to do that is by creating an adventure diary of sorts. It can be filled with photos, drawings, and of course, their own writing, it’s a fun way of commemorating what they are going through.
Teach Them That Mistakes Are Lessons
Mistakes are the most frustrating part of trying something new.
You should teach your kids how to process that frustration. Sometimes, they just have to power through it. Other times, they might need to take a step back.
Either way, know that mistakes aren’t failures but lessons will help give them a healthier perspective on mistakes.
Trying new things is something that parents should encourage their kids to do. But the best way to do that is to let them do things their way and let them know that you are there to support them.
It will help them grow into a better person and will equip them with the right mindset that they can use as they grow further in life.
Alexandra Eidens is the founder of Big Life Journal, an engaging resource with printables for kids to help them develop a resilient growth mindset so they can face life’s challenges with confidence.