We all know the feeling. The moment of pride when someone notices how outspoken or articulate our child is. We bask in the knowledge that our child is smart, has a great sense of self-esteem and succeeds at virtually everything they attempt to do. There is a fine line between confidence and pride and arrogance.
Experts agree that a child's ability to believe in themselves is a major factor in helping to form the foundation for their emotional, social, academic, and moral development. However, there are critical elements children need to also have to cultivate true confidence rather than an arrogance that will form a barrier to happiness their entire life.
1. Confident kids say, "I can do it." An arrogant child says, "I can do it better than anyone else and that's the most important thing."
2. Confident kids say, "I am proud of what I accomplished" whereas an arrogant child says, "everyone is impressed with what I accomplished."
3. Confident children say, "I learn from failure." Arrogant children hide from failure and feel personal shame rather than potential opportunity for growth as a result of mistakes.
4. Confident kids review and assess their own behavior. Arrogant kids perceive others as competition and judge everyone they meet with a judgmental eye.
5. Confident kids are ruled by compassion, viewing everyone with a sense of fair play. Arrogant children are driven by competition with others and a sense of '"its either me or you." They view everyone as a threat on some level.
6. Confident children are team players and aren't concerned with who gets the glory for success. Arrogant kids focus on being known for their contribution and want to stand out.
7. Confident children value the opinions of others and actively invite other's perspectives. Arrogant children are dismissive and unconcerned about other's ideas and input.
8. Confident children decide for themselves if they have met their goal. Arrogant children wait for outside approval before deciding if their actions were acceptable.
9. Confident kids care deeply about the opinions and support of those around them, but yet ultimately they make their own decisions. Arrogant children make their choices based solely on how they will appear to others.
10. Confident children work to support others, even if that means others will be more successful. Arrogant children are willing to hurt and exclude others in order to achieve their goal.
There's much we can do to nurture our children's lives and to help them become the best they can be. Good parenting is not about how to create little prodigies but rather its how to help our children live their lives to the best of their abilities, while maintaining compassion, a sense of community, and a true sense of what success is about.
Personal happiness in life comes from being proud of ourselves based on what we want for ourselves and in being true to ourselves. Teach your kids to focus from the inside out rather than from the outside in and your confident child will become a confident adult for life.
Anne Leedom is the Founder of CatchtheLifeBug.com, LifePalz.com and Parentingbookmark.com. She is frequently quoted in national media and lives in Northern California.