|Thinking About Confidence
||Has assurance; certainty that thoughts and actions are valid.
|She denied vehemently that the rules of the game allowed the other players to
take extra money. She told the other children how to build the castle and further said
that by doing as she suggested (commanded, even), "it would stay up."
|Rather than specific knowledge and skills, a person needs experiences where her
ideas have worked, where she is proven right, where others support her, her ideas and
|Insights about the
|To be effective a child's confidence must be built on a solid basis of knowledge
and skills. Otherwise, she will have only the illusion of confidence, like the emperor's
new clothes, insubstantial, and could get into difficult situations. Maybe confidence
should be related to areas of expertise or the ability to find solutions. A person
without confidence, on the other hand, will be hesitant to act at all.
|Could be. If a child is confident at birth, your challenge will be to keep
her sense of confidence alive and balanced.
Teaching or Preserving Confidence
||You begin to build your baby's sense of confidence by responding to her needs.
She learns, "I can cry and thus meet my needs."
||Encourage your child to explore and experiment while keeping her safe. Give
her experiences of being able to care of herself, to create, and to do things which
can increase her sense of confidence. Be positive toward her in whatever she attempts.
||Provide on-going support and safety as a child moves out into the world by
helping her think through what she is doing and the possible consequences of her
actions. As she goes through elementary school, she needs to become competent in
something she enjoys, whether it is academic work, a hobby, a musical instrument,
or a sport. Encourage this specialty throughout her teenage years.
Be aware that over-confident teenagers are apt to put themselves in unsafe situations.
Influences on Learning Confidence
||Your child's self needs—needs for feeling good about
herself—can be at least partially met by feelings of confidence
and may, in some children, provide a drive to feel confident.
||A child whose approach to life is to move out into it is more apt to feel
confident than a child who tends to hold back or withdraw from new people or
||A child whose learning style makes academic achievement difficult will be
less apt to feel confident. She needs to build a sense of confidence in areas other
than academic achievement.
Reflections about Confidence
|Influence of other
|To be a contributing member of society the confident person needs to be guided
by other values, such as thoughtful decision making and/or caring.
|Recognize that a child's degree of confidence must be balanced with some
skepticism or uncertainty. Being totally confident, not questioning, could be disastrous,
as could having too little confidence.