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  • Writer's picturePei Wen

7 Ways to Encourage Children in Trying Out New Activities



Trying new things is a crucial part of growing up and developing as a person. For children, it is a way to explore the world around them, learn new skills, and gain confidence in themselves. However, not all children are naturally adventurous and open to new experiences. Some may be hesitant to step out of their comfort zones, and this is where a strategy can help. Here are some tips to encourage children to try new things and help them overcome their fears.


Lead by example

Leading by example is a powerful way to influence your child's behavior and encourage them to try new things. When children see their parents engaging in new experiences with excitement and curiosity, they are more likely to develop a positive attitude towards trying new things themselves. For example, if you have always been afraid of trying new foods, your child may develop the same fear. On the other hand, if you are always open to trying new cuisines and enjoy experimenting with different flavors, your child is more likely to develop a similar interest in trying new foods. Participating in new experiences with your child can help create positive memories and strengthen your relationship. This will also give you the opportunity to talk to your child about their experiences, thoughts, and feelings, which can help build their confidence and resilience.


Encourage independence

Encouraging independence is a key part of helping children try new things. When children are given the opportunity to make their own decisions and take control of their experiences, they can develop confidence and empower them to tackle new challenges and pursue their interests with determination. For example, you can give your child the choice of what new activity they would like to try, such as a new sport, hobby, or club. This will not only help them discover what they are interested in, but also give them a sense of control over their own experiences. It's also important to set appropriate boundaries and give your child some independence within those boundaries. For example, you can allow them to choose what to wear or what to eat for dinner, as long as it fits within your family's guidelines and values. This will help them build their decision-making skills and develop independence in a safe and supportive environment.


Gradually increase the level of challenge

Gradually increasing the level of challenge is a key aspect of helping children try new things. Children are more likely to embrace new experiences if they feel a sense of progress and accomplishment. By starting with small, low-risk activities, you can help your child build confidence and develop a taste for trying new things. For example, if your child is interested in a new sport, you can start with beginner-level activities and gradually increase the difficulty as they become more comfortable. This could involve practicing different techniques, playing with more skilled players or even joining a team. As your child develops their skills and confidence, they will be more likely to tackle bigger challenges and reach their full potential.


Celebrate successes

Celebrating successes is an essential part of helping children try new things. Celebrating their successes, no matter how small, can help boost their confidence and encourage them to keep pushing themselves. For example, if your child tries a new sport and successfully makes a basket or scores a goal, take the time to celebrate their accomplishment. You can offer praise, give them a high-five or simply tell them how proud you are of their progress. This will help them feel valued and appreciated and will encourage them to keep trying new things. It's also important to remember that success comes in many forms, and not all successes are tangible. Celebrating their bravery and determination will help them develop a positive attitude towards trying new things and taking risks.


Offer support and encouragement

Offering support and encouragement is a crucial aspect of helping children try new things. Children often need encouragement and reassurance when they are stepping outside of their comfort zones and trying something new. By offering support and encouragement, you can help your child build confidence and overcome their fears. For example, if they are trying a new activity or hobby, you can offer to help them get started and provide guidance and support along the way. This can include helping them find resources, finding a mentor or simply being there to offer encouragement and support. It's also important to offer positive reinforcement and praise. Children are more likely to try new things if they feel that they are making progress and that their efforts are being recognized. If they are feeling nervous or uncertain about trying a new experience, take the time to listen and offer reassurance. This will help them feel heard and understood, and will give them the confidence they need to move forward.


Be patient

Being patient is crucial in helping children try new things. Children learn at their own pace and it is important to provide an environment where they feel comfortable and free to explore. When children feel pressured to succeed immediately, they may become discouraged and less likely to try new things in the future. It's important to remember that the process of trying new things can be a slow one, and that children need time to adjust and grow. Encourage your child to be patient with themselves. Offer words of encouragement and remind them that it takes time to develop new skills and master new experiences.


Foster a growth mindset

Fostering a growth mindset is crucial in helping children try new things. Children who develop a growth mindset view challenges as opportunities for growth and learning, rather than as threats to their self-esteem. This attitude can help children become more resilient and help them overcome their fears and anxieties about trying new things. One way to foster a growth mindset is to focus on the process, not just the outcome. Encourage your child to enjoy the journey, rather than just the destination. Another way to foster a growth mindset is to help your child see the value in making mistakes. Mistakes are a natural part of the learning process, and they can provide valuable insights and opportunities for growth.

By following these tips, you can help your child develop the courage and confidence they need to try new things. Remember that it is a process, and that your child will make mistakes along the way. But with your support and encouragement, they will be able to overcome their fears and embrace new experiences.


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