One of the things that I admire most about my kids is their confidence.
They’re constantly coming up with new ideas and projects and trying out for every club or activity that interests them: Running for an SCA office, auditioning for the school play, joining the band or the choir, trying out for the school academic competition team… And all of those were just last semester! Granted, even if they succeeded at all of those things, they wouldn’t be able to do them all. We have a rule in our house that limits the number of activities so that they aren’t over-schedule.
But my point is that they TRY. And when they do, it is with utter confidence that they will succeed.
And while I may try to manage their expectations, I will always support them in their enthusiastic attempts.
As adults, I think it’s easy for us to lose that self-assured approach to life. Years of experience or negative self-talk can turn us into pessimists.
I know that not all kids feel that confidence either, so I’m even more blown away when my kids approach their goals with total joy and excitement and just put their hearts into it.
Oh, you need to recite a monologue and sing a song in front of the Director of the school play? You got this? Awesome kid. Go for it!
When things don’t work out the way they hoped, they’ve learned to chalk it up to life experience and not internalize it as a “failure.”
I am genuinely in awe, so I do everything in my power to continue to encourage that.
In my opinion, Nature and Nurture play equally important roles in our children’s lives. It’s pretty clear to me that my kids came out of the womb with confidence. However, it’s always been important to us that we communicate clearly with our children and teach them to identify and express emotions.
I believe that plays a big part in their ability to approach things with confidence and to handle disappointment with resilience.
Yesterday my children were at the small park in our neighborhood attempting to build a bridge over a ditch. They had a plan, materials, and were working together really well. A neighbor came by and started critiquing their work and told them flat-out that she didn’t think it was going to work. My kids said, “Sure it will!” And they continued working.
By the time the woman came back by after walking her dog, the bridge was not only completed but strong enough to hold both children and their bikes. The neighbor stated, “I stand corrected.” Yes. Yes, you do stand corrected.