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to ask how do private schools produce such "confident"; kids / adults and how I can do it at home?

(990 Posts)
dragontwo Tue 12-Jun-18 21:11:49

Ok, I have my reservations about private schools, but I recognise that often they produce kids / adults with high self confidence and self assurance.

I want to know how they do this, how they drill this confidence into them, and how I can replicate any beneficial aspects of this at home into my own kid (state schooled)?

What do they say / do / teach that encourages them to be so confident and expect success?

I know there are down sides to everything but I'm just thinking about good ideas I can help my kid. NB I'm no tiger mother and do my best to encourage my kid as it is already but just looking for ideas and general thoughts on how it's done!!

Just curious!

AsAProfessionalFekko Tue 12-Jun-18 21:12:53

Confident parents.

troodiedoo Tue 12-Jun-18 21:14:14


Celticlassie Tue 12-Jun-18 21:14:29

A sense of entitlement.

AsAProfessionalFekko Tue 12-Jun-18 21:14:45

Not all families at private are rich.

LivingMyBestLife Tue 12-Jun-18 21:15:30

I went round a few (state) grammar schools last year, and one of the Heads there really impressed me - I think it was just the expectations that they had for their pupils. Perhaps if you hear it often enough it becomes more fixed in your thoughts.

I will be watching this thread with interest.

Queenofthedrivensnow Tue 12-Jun-18 21:15:59

I went to private school im pretty confident. I reckon it's down to being cultured and well informed but a lot of that cane from my mum

TheCriminalMind Tue 12-Jun-18 21:16:09

I imagine it’s a combination of confident parents (that they imitate), being socialised to be go-getter (typically) and the schools placing a bigger emphasis on leadership abilities rather than teamwork skills...

(Although my view may be coloured after just finishing my last essay for my course which was on education and the Marxist view).

Tinseltower Tue 12-Jun-18 21:16:11

Money and opportunities.

ProjectGainsborough Tue 12-Jun-18 21:16:39

God I’d love to know the answer to this.

Lots of public speaking opportunities? Making sure that children greet adults with eye contact rather than shoe shuffling?

Beyond that, I don’t know. My dad went to public school and is socially adept. I went state and am painfully shy. confused

BertrandRussell Tue 12-Jun-18 21:16:42

It’s being privileged. Not necessarily rich, although the overwhelming majority of private school families are, but privileged.

lastqueenofscotland Tue 12-Jun-18 21:17:07

I went to a very very posh school that people have heard of, if you see what I mean.
And I don’t think it produces confident kids, I think there is a cream of very confident entitled children who are told they are fantastic and remain —utterly fucking foul— ballsy as adults and then you get the rest of us that were trodden on by them.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 12-Jun-18 21:17:35

I don't believe they do.

Some private (or, actually, public) schools do. Clearly. Some of them turn out what a rude person would call arrogant adults, too. But, equally, there are a lot of private schools that don't do this at all. It is quite gendered. There are lots of private girls' schools that still, in 2018, turn out young women who have been given a low sense of self esteem and a huge fear of failure.

I teach students aged 18-21, and I really do notice this stuff. Private girls' schools can be the absolute pits.

Shaboohshoobah1 Tue 12-Jun-18 21:17:51

My friend says they make her children do loads of public speaking from a very early age - her kids have to get up and recite French poetry aged 7, and be able to address kids/adults ‘properly’ from very young. I think smaller classes and being encouraged to speak out (less room to hide) help too. This is just what I have been told - my children are state educated.

AsAProfessionalFekko Tue 12-Jun-18 21:18:07

The old stereotypes do get trotted out don't they?

My dad and his brothers were all very confident men, all successful in their very different fields. They were all brought up in a tiny council house in a rough part of Glasgow - but with parents who encouraged them to be interested in their education, culture, the arts, travel...

bionicnemonic Tue 12-Jun-18 21:18:19

Being encouraged to take part and not be knocked by if things don’t go to plan.
There’s a very good book by The School of Life

exhaustedpigeon12 Tue 12-Jun-18 21:18:51

Ds is private but is only 6, so my advice may be limited (I was private too though, so don’t know if that helps?)

I think it’s opportunity - they talk in front of people ALL the time, literally, daily they have to stand up and present something or other. They are encouraged to debate and have different opinions, and it doesn’t really matter if they are wrong so long as they can back up why they feel that way.

Parents being used to getting their own way is some part of it too I think. They replicate that charm / success and learn how to behave in different situations.

I’m a single, broke parent, but I try and take Ds To a variety of places where he may be out his comfort zone. It’s hard, I also think some of it is just pure not having to worry about anything. Some of Ds classmates will literally never have to worry about money ever again in their lives. It gives you a confidence to take risks and know you will be accepted no matter what.

malificent7 Tue 12-Jun-18 21:19:59

I went to private and I'm not confident. Many of my peers were very arrogant though. I'd say it's arrogance tbh. Truly confident people don't look down on the poor or need designer labels to feel good.

Japanese Tue 12-Jun-18 21:20:09

I think it's a very good question OP, I don't have any answers but it is something have also pondered on.

A friend of mine who went to an elite private secondary school told me that students were routinely told in assemblies, etc. that they were 'the best of the best' just by virtue of going to that school. Interestingly that has actually affected him in a negative way as an adult as he feels as though he has under-achieved in comparison with what was expected of him.

Myimaginarycathasfleas Tue 12-Jun-18 21:20:13

confident parents

^ exactly this ^

Thesearepearls Tue 12-Jun-18 21:21:06

You're pandering to stereotypes

My DS is the most humble person I know. He's kind to a fault. Listens to everyone and never seeks to impose his point of view. He always respects people. Far from having a braying problem, he has a muttering problem

He's been privately educated since the age of 3. He's 18 now. Clearly I must have wasted my money because the only reason I paid for his education was to produce a braying know-nothing .,...

Magmatic80 Tue 12-Jun-18 21:21:17

I think it’s smaller class sizes. (I say this having gone through state system by the way!). I never spoke at school if I could help it, but at a-level, one of my classes only had 8 in it, and I believe it was the making of me. As someone up thread said, there was nowhere to hide, and I gradually learned I did have a contribution to make, and gained a lot of confidence.

Muddlingalongalone Tue 12-Jun-18 21:21:38

Don't know OP but 100% recognise it & no doubt if you could bottle it you could make your millions.
I think some of the grammar schools in our area also have it.
You can spot it looking round our office.
Interestingly the Europeans seem to have it in spades despite a lack of private school education but maybe that's why they have made it overseas in their early to mid 20's.

Guardup Tue 12-Jun-18 21:22:58

Following this with interest. Who knows if this will work and its never something I would have beeen able to do pre children...... but when i’m having my own panic/insecurity about something I think about the advice I would give my child if they were feeling the same and I take it. I find I’m often talking to myself (in my head) and coaching myself to overcome things that are stopping me moving forward. It’s completely shifted my life perspective and I find I only focus my energy on good things and not bad (people talking about me, bad friendships, crap jobs, gossip, achieving life goals etc etc). I’m hoping this confidence is rubbing off on my children and they have the courage of their own convictions in a way I never did. Who knows?!

manicinsomniac Tue 12-Jun-18 21:23:02

I don't know if there's one definitive answer but we do the following at our private prep school to try and develop confidence/leadership skills:

1) Every child takes part in a poetry recitation competition once a year
2) Every child from age 9ish gives tours of the school to visitors and prospective parents
3) Every child has a speaking part in a school production every year
4) From age 11-13 small groups of children go to a dinner party at the headmaster's house once a term.
5) We have debating competitions
6) Senior pupils give speeches at events
7) We have leadership challenge afternoons for the 11-13 year olds once a term
8) We have vertical tutor groups so older children learn to look after younger and younger learn to communicate with older
9) We have optional public speaking, speech and drama and acting lessons
10) Staff eat lunch with children and children on the table are expected to talk to the adults too.

I don't know if any of that definitively develops confidence but I don't think it hurts.

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