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Why we should encourage our children to get out of their comfort zone, and how to do it

Having new experiences and acquiring skills requires leaving our comfort zone , that is, moving away from what is familiar and known to us, where we feel comfortable because we know what is going to happen at all times, and look for something different, something challenging.

That is why it is very important that our children learn to go further, to be able to experience different situations that will help them not only to develop new skills, but also to get to know each other better thanks to experiencing what they like and what they don’t.

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action builds confidence and courage. If you want to overcome fear, don’t sit at home and think about it. Get out there and get to work.”

-Dale Carnegie-

Why is it so positive to get out of the comfort zone and how can we help our children to do it? We tell you!

Benefits of leaving the comfort zone

The world has changed, and it is becoming more and more frequent to face new challenges, unlike what happened in previous times, in which it was common to have stability in life, the same job, the same house, etc.

But these are different times, in which change is a constant , with growing advances that require a greater capacity for adaptability.

And that is precisely where the importance of our children learning to leave their comfort zone lies.

“The shell must be broken before the bird can fly.”

-Alfred Tennyson-

And this is going to help you:

  • Promote their self-esteem, by having greater self-confidence to face different situations.
  • Improve their self-image and self-knowledge, by experiencing things outside of what they are used to.
  • Have more autonomy , feeling capable of facing new challenges.
  • Strengthen your memory, being constantly stimulated by changes.
  • Improve concentration, by having to pay attention to new experiences.
  • Increase their confidence and self-assurance.
  • Let go of attachments and dependencies that can be detrimental to their healthy development.
  • Help to have fun , to get out of the monotony of everyday life.
  • Improve adaptability.

How do I help my child get out of the comfort zone?

If you want to help your child get out of their comfort zone, you don’t have to make big, complicated changes. Just make small changes. We recommend that you do not do it in a forced way; present it naturally.

It is therefore about making very small variations in daily routines, and not about completely changing what children do , as this could have an adverse effect by generating great uncertainty. So what can we do?

do things differently

Make small changes in the daily routine; For example, if you serve breakfast at home in a certain way, change the order in which you present the food , or vary the way you dress. For example, if you put on the pants first and then the shirt, you can do it the other way around.

It also helps a lot to encourage your children to use the other hand; For example, if he brushes with his right hand because he is right-handed, ask him to do it with his left hand one day.

Do not forget to do it in a fun and natural way, respecting their rhythms; remember that it is not an imposition and that they should feel comfortable.

Another idea to get out of the comfort zone is to teach them to tie their shoes in different ways and experiment with them , or to change the way they comb their hair. They are small changes to begin with, but they take effect.

change habits

When you go to school or go home, you can take different routes and not always the same in a predictable way. This, in addition to being fun, is highly stimulating for the little ones.

Always seeing new and different things forces them to pay more attention to their surroundings, and by having other information on how to get back, they will also work on their memory.

When you have shown them several ways to get back, you can ask them to choose the route, it will be more fun for your children.

This will also make them feel taken into account, and they will know that you trust them, which directly affects their self-esteem .

Remember to always do it with the best encouragement so that they can learn that change is something positive. We have proposed an example, but you can apply it to other habits in general.

“The best things in life tend to happen outside of our comfort zones, and doubting your ability to get out of your comfort zone will keep you stuck.”

-Amy Morin-

Try new activities

Something that can also help children get out of their comfort zone is encouraging them to try new activities.

They can be things that they had not tried before, or that they have seen us do… things that they feel interested in, or that they have never really considered. Activities, hobbies , challenges, sports, games… whatever comes to mind!

The idea is that they try, that they experiment without fear of failure ; here it is all about having fun, testing and learning, there is no other goal than this!

tolerate uncertainty

Leaving the comfort zone often implies an intense feeling of uncertainty and fear of the unknown. It is not about avoiding these emotions, but about tolerating and accepting them.

It is normal to feel them, and in order to enjoy leaving the comfort zone, we will need children to get used to them and live them from another perspective ( more from curiosity than from fear or anguish ).

normalize shame

Finally, it is important that children lose their sense of ridicule and dare, from time to time, to do things that cause them some shame.

In no case, so that they have a bad time, but so that they learn to tolerate these sensations and normalize them.

Getting out of the comfort zone implies getting out of familiarity to dare to do new and different things; and from there, the learning is much richer .

We are your example

The way our children learn is not based on what we tell them to do, but on what they see us, their parents or caregivers do.

So, if I want my son to be independent , to trust himself and not be afraid to step out of his comfort zone, I have to do it too, so it is an exercise that we can put into practice together as a family.

Break the routine

Sometimes the routine consumes us without realizing it, so these small variations in what we do and that change our daily life can be very refreshing and stimulating for everyone, at the same time that they help us get out of the usual and expected.

Photos | Portada (freepik)

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