Friday, April 24, 2009


I think building confidence in kids is huge.

And lately I've been thinking so much about it. I think if Dave and I can instill a sense of confidence in these kids they'll be able to stand on their own and fight for what they believe in life. They'll be able to make their way in the business world. They'll have a confidence about what they do as parents some day. I want them to be able be leaders for what's right, and it takes confidence to do that.

But most of all, I think confident kids make good choices, and turn into confident-good-choice-making-leader-adults. They're not swayed by those around them. And in this day and age I want that so much for my kids. Heck, my word for the year is choose, so I must be worried about that one. The choices we make each day make such a difference in our lives...and in the lives of those around us.

So how do we as parents give them that confidence?

My internal thoughts about this were heightened after a conversation I had with my sweet sister-in-law when she was here a couple weeks ago. (She probably has no idea I'm still thinking about this, but I am.) We were talking about how sometimes kids are confident despite parents who may break them down. Are they confident because they have to be? Because no one is building them up so they have to find that internal strength on their own? And then you see people who are still painfully shy and self-conscious despite having been built-up and coddled their whole lives. I'm trying to figure out what makes the difference.

I think it's nurture and nature. I think good parenting helps, but it's really dependent on that little personality that comes with each child. (But I'd love to hear anyone else's theories about this.)

The reason I've been wondering about this is because we have one kid who we've been worried about in the confidence category. Serious shyness. Head down, shoulders sagging, scared to talk to adults, etc. Now, I'm not saying that shyness equals low self-esteem, but I don't know, for whatever reason we knew this kid needed to be built-up.

So last month Dave had an idea. I won't go into details, because I'm trying to keep the identity of this particular child anonymous, but Dave's idea has made the hugest difference ever. Dave's taken the time out to take this child to a new class to build on a very favorite hobby three times a week. Tons of driving. Tons of individual time. That on top of some really good goals being made has been the work in progress over here with these two.

And I'll tell you what, over the last two weeks this kid has morphed into someone different. Head is held high...not afraid to talk to adults...on task with homework, practicing, etc. ...even with a big smile plastered across that cute face.

I could just kiss Dave for it...well, actually I did...a lot.

But I learned a powerful part of helping in that confidence category really can come from the parents....if they're willing to put in the effort. If they can know that child well enough to really see who that child really is inside and what will help them. And Dave's been doing just that.

I'm not saying this is a catch-all and that this particular child will be the President of the United States some day (but who knows??). All I'm saying is that I'm so incredibly thankful for Dave. And his parenting. And I think I just broke my vow not to talk about him on this blog, but I think this is ok since I'm not talking about how handsome I think he is.

And I'm also saying, I hope we can raise confident kids.

If anyone has suggestions on that please shoot them this way!
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