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Self-Confidence in Our Kids
Crazy Hip Blog Mamas is asking, how do we make sure our kids have self-confidence?

Well, that's a two-edged sword, isn't it? Too often we praise kids for absolutely nothing at all, and then they grow up in this bubble thinking they're wonderful and everyone will always think they're wonderful.

When they get a job and they're not praised for how well they run the copy machine, they wonder what's wrong.

Here's what I wrote a while back about how being ordinary isn't so bad after all:

When my daughter Rebecca was two I was a nervous wreck. The only words she said weren’t even words—they were animal sounds. She called a dog “woof woof”. She called a cat “meow”. She could do a mean barnyard pig. But she couldn’t say “want juice”. I had been so proud when she was the first in my little moms’ group to walk, but now she was letting me down. I wanted her to be exceptional, and she was, well, ordinary.

If we can produce a child who is exceptional, we figure that reflects well on us. Our kids become our measuring sticks, and that puts a lot of pressure on them to excel. Yet I think most of this pressure is misguided. After all, in the long run, does it matter who was toilet trained first, or who first mastered writing their name? Statistically some of us will give birth to geniuses, but most of us will not. Some of us will have musical prodigies, or sports prodigies, but most of us will have those who may be able to hum a tune or kick a ball, but that’s about it.

All kids have one or two things they do really well, and identifying these skills and giving our kids the chance to develop them can give a sense of pride and accomplishment. But nobody has to do everything really well. In fact, maybe we should change our expectations. Maybe being wonderfully, delightfully middle of the pack should be perfectly fine.

You can read the rest here. But to sum up, we don't need kids to be geniuses, though there's nothing wrong with that. We want to praise them when they show good character and good judgment, not just when they do something that will impress others. Don't put pressure on them to be great; praise them for simply acting good. Then they'll have a more realistic impression of themselves and what's important!

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At 8:26 PM , Blogger Sandy said…

Hi there! The number one creator of confidence in kids is past performance. Isn't that interesting? Great great post!

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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