When I was 6 I took swimming lessons and to pass the class, you had to jump from the high dive. I didn't want to and physically couldn't overcome my fear to do so. Instead, the instructor jumped off the board with me hand-in-hand and to this day, I still have issues with it. Had they treated my fear with, say, a "Family Fear Factor" challenge, maybe I would have been a different person today — download your own score card to get your kids to try everything from roller coasters to lima beans!
Maria Eckersley over at Meck Mom has come up with an idea that would have changed my early years and I personally think, the lives of many others. Most children are hesitant to try what they don't know or are new to.
Working from an idea implemented in her children's school to help the kids try new ingredients, she's made family Fear Factor charts to help challenge her kids to try new things. Tried things are rewarded with praise and the ability to pick a favorite dinner and dessert for the next week's meals.
Many kids are held back by their fears instead of challenged to overcome them casually. I'll be the first to raise my hand and say that I hate doing things people tell me to do, but when I can take baby steps and try them all on my own, I not only find more joy in the act, but feel proud to have done so.
Read more on the idea over at MeckMom and download your own printable Fear Factor score card to help your kids keep track of their accomplishments. Before you know it they'll be having high flying summer fun, or at least learning to sleep with the lights off and trying all sorts of new things!