The Gift of Confidence Only a Parent Can Give

Why did you do that?  What were you thinking?  I told you how, why didn’t you do it the way I said?  You didn’t listen, did you!  You didn’t work hard enough.  You’re not big enough, strong enough, fast enough, smart enough….etc.  And worst of all…the system is not fair. Have you said any of the above?  Sure, we parents all do at one time or another.  We think we are helping by grabbing the child’s attention and getting them to see they are on the wrong path.  But what if that wrong path had its own lesson?  What if we instead guided with: You are smart, what did you learn from your mistake?  You are smart, you are strong, you are quick, you are destined to win at whatever your choose…just don’t give up.  The system may not be fair for everyone, but you are smart and talented.  You will rise to the top, just keep believing in yourself. Being in my fifties now, I have a reflective mind.  My core personality is a fixer.  My passion is children.  What I have learned through experience and studies of how the brain develops is children do not need fixing…parents do. Yes there are some children who are strong willed, some who are special needs, all will test your patients at times, but they all started at the same place in life and we adults created the connections in their brains that lead them to be who they are or who they are not.  Nature is what they came into the world with and nurturing is how we help our children develop what nature gifted. Sometimes it is our own fear that leads us down the wrong rode of correction.  We fear they will do wrong.  We fear they will fail.  We fear they will not be big enough, strong enough, fast enough, smart enough or the system will not be fair for them.  We gift them—pass on—our fear for their future which can become their own stumbling block. The world is a complex place where fair is not always present.  Where there are real things to be feared. The best gift we can give to children is confidence.  Confidence will become their shield to both defend and win over fear and difficulties.  Confidence, not conceit, is developed through positive reinforcement a 100 times a day.  In the little things, the big things and the tender I love you things. I write this piece for you today after realizing that I too passed on my fear to my son.  I have raised him with positive reinforcement and a million “mama’s lectures” for his safety and success.  Recently, he has achieved top athlete levels in all the conditioning aspects of his sport and his moment is upon him.  But when he is given the light, he stumbles.  I have been searching my mind for what could be causing this.  It hit me this morning, fear.  Fear of not being good enough, not knowing enough.  Fear of failing when it means so much emotionally to succeed.  As I contemplate where the fear originated, I realized I was a source.  It is my fear that he may not be big enough, fast enough, strong enough.  It was me who was afraid of the politics and competitiveness of his sport.  My fear of the chance he may be disappointed and what imprint that would leave behind.  I realized the best way to help my son was for me to release my fear and in turn gift him the flight of confidence that he would find his own way to conquer his world. Father and daughters wearing superhero suit. isolated on whiteRaising children can be difficult and we adults will never make all the right decisions.  But in our love and in our willingness to continually grow our efforts to be good teachers of life, the children we nurture will always have a shield of confidence.  Confidence that we have their back.  Confidence that they are loved. Confidence that being who they are and doing their best will always be good enough.

2 thoughts on “The Gift of Confidence Only a Parent Can Give

  1. I enjoyed reading this article on parenting, since I’m a parent of a daughter (now grown), myself. Although, I didn’t read all of it, I read enough to get the main points. I just can’t get editing out of my blood, and although I may be retired (and a lifelong doll lover/collector), my mind still continues the editing process. With a little more “white” space and organization, I believe this article would be more easier read (and readily read). I love Alex; she is more realistic than other 18″ comparable dolls, such as American Girl Dolls; and I think Alex has a cuter personality!
    March would have been a good month for Alex to have a 🏯 Japanese “friend” visit and talk about “Girl’s Day” (March 3rd.) in Japan; maybe give Alex a kimono; pink cotton (reversable?) w/cherry blossoms and turquoise obi?). Or a red “Hello 🐈 Kitty” cotton 👘 kimono (I actually have some fabric like it that I’ve been saving!). Also, they could exchange “Kokechi,” or friendship dolls. 🎎 I collected these dolls when I was a kid living in Japan. (My 👪 family, Mother, Father, and my three brothers and I lived in Japan for almost 4 years.)
    Anyway, I’ve lived many places during my lifetime; my favorite place, of course, is Paris! I loved living there for a year, and living a year in Frankfurt. You can visit so many places when you live in Europe. I’ve also lived in the Middle East. It’s good that young girls keep up with global events in their world today, and I love it that Alex has a 🛂 passport! Maybe some day she’ll meet Malalla from Pakistan, or hear her give a speech for education for girls.
    I think dolls can be used to teach important qualities, not just that being pretty, and having lots of pretty clothes, and boyfriends are important. (When I was growing up, Barbie was like practice for becoming a good little “wife and mother.”
    Well, that’s all for now. Keep up the good work; saving my dolls for my future granddaughters! (Hint to my daugther, Farah!)

    KAREN CHANG
    P.S.
    Do you know there is a Moslem Barbie, named Fala? She comes with a veil, called a jihab, but wears 👖 and tees and dresses underneath. Little 👭 😍 love 🎎 dolls all over the world!!

    • I love all of your ideas! A Japanese friend is coming but I need to finish Tatiana first. I am trying to decide if we should do Elena (German and Portuguese mix) next or a Japanese mix girl. Did you know that the largest number of Japanese living outside of Japan live in Brazil? So it would be natural for Alexis to have a Japanese friend while she explores Brazil. 🙂 I love the Japanese culture. I was watching a channel from Japan on cable that was all about Japan and world news. They did the show(s) in English. It was one of my favorite channels, but it has left the air. 😦 My daughter married a young man who is half Japanese and my now 5 month old grandson has beautiful almond shaped eyes. There is so much for all of us to explore. My hope is that we teach girls to explore with an open heart. To learn about others is a gift that increases ones own inner beauty. WE have so much to do and so much to look forward to! Thank you so much for your fun comment!

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