We have all witnessed moments of nervous hesitation in our children before taking a brave new step. Coming down a big slide for the first time, taking a piano examination and trying a new sport are all instances a child may feel great fear. At these times, don’t belittle his fear by saying “It is easy,” “No big deal,” or “Don’t be a little baby.” Instead recognize these occasions as opportunities for children to learn about courage. Courage is not the absence of fear but the quality that helps us rise above it. Once the child has overcome his fear, we can further nurture his courage by acknowledging it:“It took a lot of courage to slide down. Good for you!” Acknowledgement of a virtue helps the child realize her own strength of character and builds her self-esteem. The next time she is faced with fear, she can draw upon this inner strength to overcome her fear.