Successful adults were once probably fearless kids.

We asked our own fearless explorers, scientists, and authors how to bring out these traits in your children. (Hint: It's more than just facing down giant snakes and exploring ancient caves!)

Published 9 Apr 2019, 00:37 BST
Photograph by National Geographic / Painless Television

Jack Randall

WHY HE’S FEARLESS: At just 14 years old, Jack Randall left his home in England to become an apprentice to Steve Irwin, learning to handle snakes and other reptiles. Today he treks into the wild to teach others about anacondas, crocodiles, and other amazing animals. He's the host of the kids' video series Fearless Adventures With Jack Randall.

FEARLESS QUOTE: "Testing your comfort zone is scary. Provide children with all the support you can, so they feel comfortable pushing their boundaries and learning from any mistakes along the way." Read the full interview with Randall.

Genevieve von Petzinger

WHY SHE’S FEARLESS: As a paleoanthropologist, Genevieve von Petzinger wriggles and squeezes through European caves in search of mysterious Ice Age rock art left by ancient people. She's also an explorer on the kids' video series Explorer Academy: The Truth Behind.

As a paleoanthropolgist, Genevieve von Petzinger wriggles and squeezes through European caves in search of mysterious Ice Age rock art left by ancient people.
Photograph by D. von Petzinger

HER FEARLESS KIDS: Two sons, 20 months and 6 years

FEARLESS QUOTE: "I'd tell kids to be fearless and limitless in their imagination, and don't be afraid to take chances in life. There’s nothing wrong with being prepared or calculating the risk, but don't let the fear stop you from trying things." Read the full interview with von Petzinger.

Nioucha Homayoonfar

WHY SHE’S FEARLESS: Born in Belgium before moving to Pittsburgh for her earliest years, eight-year-old Nioucha Homayoonfar was living with her family in Tehran when the 1979 Iranian revolution began. She is the author of Taking Cover: One Girl's Story of Growing Up During the Iranian Revolution.

Nioucha Homayoonfar is the author of Taking Cover: One Girl’s Story of Growing Up During the Iranian Revolution.

Photograph by Author Lori Epstein, Ng Staff

HER FEARLESS KIDS: A daughter, 7 1/2, and a son, 5 3/4

FEARLESS QUOTE: "One of our jobs as parents is to raise kids to think for themselves and ask questions. By removing your own feelings, you’re allowing your child to form their own minds about the world around them." Read the full interview with Homayoonfar.

Mindy McKnight and Kamri Noel

WHY THEY’RE FEARLESS: Through her upcoming book Viral Parenting, YouTube star Mindy McKnight navigates the sometimes scary online world for parents and children, including six of her own. One is 16-year-old daughter Kamri Noel, who has her own social following and is the host of Nat Geo Kids’ video series How Things Work.

Mindy McKnight and her 16-year-old daughter Kamri Noel

Photograph by Jessy J Photo

FEARLESS QUOTE (Mindy McKnight): "Demonstrating that we as parents aren’t afraid of failure is the best way we can teach our kids not to fear failure."

FEARLESS QUOTE (Kamri Noel): "Fear is often just a hesitation of taking risks. If kids are able to overcome this, they’ll make the most of every opportunity." Read the full interview with Mindy and Kamri.

Stefan Winterboer

WHY HE’S FEARLESS: As a senior field guide at Singita Private Game Reserves in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, Stefan Winterboer has faced down charging lions, potentially dangerous hippos, and hungry crocs. He's also a host for Nat Geo's Safari Live. (Children can check out the kid-friendly version.)

Stefan Winterboer is a host for Nat Geo's video series Safari Live.

Photograph by Geraldine Kent


FEARLESS QUOTE: "We shouldn’t hide our children from their fears, or try to protect them from whatever scares them. But it does take time and conscience to develop courage." Read the full interview with Winterboer.

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