Child’s love affair with the comfort zone starts as early as early as few days after the birth. He feels comfortable and safe in the arms of only the mother and generally refuses to go with anyone else. But, to achieve overall balanced growth the child has to leave that comfort zone and learn to walk, eat and drink on his own.
The earlier the child gets out of the comfort zone better it is for him and the parents. The parents understand this but are very uncomfortable when the child goes out of sight. In fact, come to think of it, actually the child, since the time it gets comfortable on his/ her own two feet wants to venture out of the comfort zone and try out new things but the parents hesitate to allow it the freedom to do that.
This should we / shouldn’t we allow game continues till either the parents realise their responsibility and give the child freedom of action (commensurate with the age of the child) or the child takes a leap of faith (from under the watchful eyes of the parents). The earlier it happens better it is for both.
The tendency to be in comfort zones remains with the child all his life. In schools, it is reflected in the form of liking for particular subjects in which he feels comfortable (finds easier) or playing only particular games, avoiding stage. Students tend to avoid studying subjects in which they feel they are weak. I have seen students not selecting particular subjects in school because of fear of failure. The selection should be based on liking/ love and never be based on fear. This is where the role of parents and teachers become important. They have to push the child out of the comfort zones by convincing him, making him believe in himself or, if required, even pushing him a bit. If a child is scared of the swimming pool there are numerous ways to help him overcome the fear ranging from various swimming aids, expert coaching, incentives or may be pushing into the pool. Child has to realise that he has to break out of the comfort zone to excel.
Breaking free from the comfort zones won’t happen overnight. It can be a prolonged process requiring efforts not just from the child but also from the parents, teachers and the peers. A step by step process, which may start with baby steps to develop his confidence slowly. Aim is to make him believe in his abilities.
First, the child has to decide his goal, what he wants to achieve. This is not easy at the tender age the child is. Goals can be short and long term. Once the goal has been set than the path to the goal has to be decided. The child has to understand that there is no shortcut, he has to reach the goal on his own two feet. Once that is understood than then the step by step process of preparation, trials and actions starts.
It’s always good to introduce the child to a role model, someone he can relate to. Someone preferably from real life, not from past history or mythology, may be a peer/ senior from the same school or the neighborhood/ within the family. There is no comparison being made, just the child is encouraged to follow the success model of the role model (If he can do it, you can do it too).
One has to break out from the confines of the comfort zones, challenge the fears, push himself/ herself to the limit to achieve success/ excellence.