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Might be a silly question but im curious - Do we give our kids confidence or do they naturally have it from birth????

(78 Posts)
Biglips Sun 25-Feb-07 21:30:20

as my 2.4yrs old dd is very confidence in anything as she is more confidence than we are

iris66 Sun 25-Feb-07 21:33:04

My personal opinion is that all children are born with total confidence - we, as parents, erode it or encourage it by our actions.

TheArmadillo Sun 25-Feb-07 21:33:12

so is my ds (same age).

I think some kids have it and it can be knocked out of them and some keep it.

I think some kids have low confidence but can be taught it, and some never learn it.

So yes some are born with it, but that doesn't mean it can't change.

SNOWBall4girlz Sun 25-Feb-07 21:33:18

I think we contribue to it H
I think some children are naturally more confident but think that the shyer ones can be encouraged iykwim xx

Rhubarb Sun 25-Feb-07 21:35:46

dd is 6.5 and I've always told her how beautiful, clever, brilliant she is etc. We have this saying that she is the cleverest girl on the street! I tell her constantly that her drawings are great, her writing is brill, her reading is brill. Yet she needs constant reassurance and is fairly low on confidence. She is shy and questions herself a lot.

ds is a bit different, more outgoing and boisterous.

Dh and I are fairly quiet people, I have confidence now but not thanks to my family, dh isn't very confident at all.

So make of that what you will!

Miaou Sun 25-Feb-07 21:36:43

I think it's a combination of nature/nurture. I was a very confident child who had it knocked out of her (my parents hated "showing off" ). My dds are averagely confident I would say (though dd1 is less so), and we have always been at great pains to encourage them as much as poss. We place a great deal of value on self-esteem. However I don't think they will ever be supremely confident people however hard we try!

Heathcliffscathy Sun 25-Feb-07 21:37:20

we give them it.

without a shadow of a doubt....all the research points to this.

Judy1234 Sun 25-Feb-07 21:43:47

Interesting. My non identical twins who I think I largely treated the same do differ. The cleverer one is more shy at present. Will be interesting to see how they develop.

Also see comments on various private school threads about relative confidence of private school and state school children.

Judy1234 Sun 25-Feb-07 21:44:55

ps... sometimes they are way to confident and awful as my ex husband (a teacher) well testified to. Dreadful chidlren sometimes whose parents have made them think they're great and walk on water when they are pernicious little brats who need putting in their place.

Rhubarb Sun 25-Feb-07 21:45:31

I really did think we gave our kids confidence but dd begs to differ. I think she is naturally shy and lacking in confidence despite our best efforts.

Mind you, I do wonder if my pregnancy is to blame?

mediterraneo Sun 25-Feb-07 21:48:55

I also think we give it to them, not only by praising, but also providing a happy stable environment, having firm boundaries, loving them and showing them our love. I find it quite hard, but it doesn't have to be perfect.

mediterraneo Sun 25-Feb-07 21:51:18

I am not very confident, or at least there are some situations that freak me out and make me anxious. I think my parents were too demanding, inconsistent in their discipline, and we moved around too much. I think moving around a lot at an early age can be very stressful.

winniepoo Sun 25-Feb-07 21:52:27

My lo was born with heaps!

Tortington Sun 25-Feb-07 21:53:03

what iris said

Rhubarb Sun 25-Feb-07 21:57:15

I agree with jbr

sandyballs Sun 25-Feb-07 21:58:28

I don't think it can be something that we give them. They are born with it, how else do you explain the different confidence levels of siblings, growing up in the same environment.

I have twin girls who are nearly 6 and they have been treated exactly the same but have very different levels of confidence. One is confident to the point of almost being cocky or over confident, the other has very little confidence. Fascinating really.

SenoraPostrophe Sun 25-Feb-07 21:59:57

we give children confidence, although some naturally have more in the first place than others.

we definately don't "erode" a pre-existing confidence. how confident are street orphans do you think?

nellyfin Sun 25-Feb-07 22:02:09

sure this was one of the topics on the "child of our time" series, think the conclusion was that you are born with a tendency to be shy or outgoing but your circumstances can change you.

there is definately a risk of giving your child too much confidence in my opinion though, have always told my ds how great/clever etc he is and now he thinks he is superior to me and knows better. his favourite saying is "no mummy, i think youve got that wrong..." (he's 3) so am now having to backtrack and tell him he doesnt know everything. v. complicated this child rearing!

LowFatMilkshake Sun 25-Feb-07 22:02:11

I would say my daughter was fearless when she was two - jumping from seven stairs up into my arms (half the staircase!! Now she is 3.5 she is more cautios, but still likes to push herself (and us) as much as she can!

mediterraneo Sun 25-Feb-07 22:08:21

sophable can you elaborate on the reaserch you mentioned? i tend to agree with you based on bitses of stuff I have read.

suedonim Sun 25-Feb-07 22:29:50

I think the basic tendency is born with the child but the end result depends on how parents raise the child.

Heathcliffscathy Sun 25-Feb-07 22:36:57

xenia, twins are never treated the same....in fact that challenge for many parents of twins is to recognise the ways in which they are imbuing one twin with one set of projected characteristics and another with another.

no siblings are the same because they are never treated the same.

to elaborate on what i said in typically inflexible style: whatever innate characteristics we are born with the overidingly crucial factor is the environment which in this case is a euphemism for the primary caring relationship.

the research I refer to is the vast swathes of attachment theory research that is now being confirmed by much neuroscientific research. allan schore is the exponent of this that I know but I believe there to be more recent authors than this.

Rhubarb Sun 25-Feb-07 22:37:42

So my dd is lacking in confidence because of us? Thanks!

suedonim Sun 25-Feb-07 22:58:24

But your dd is still so v small, Rhubarb! You can't know now how she will be in 10 or 15 years time, nothing is set in stone with children.

Dd2 was pretty unconfident at one stage, the original velcro child. But now she astonishes me with her confidence, she's House Captain at school, stands up in front of crowds and talk to them without a moment's thought, loves meeting new people and has come through twice moving continents with flying colours.

Ds2 took his time but if you'd told me 10yrs ago, when he was 17, that he'd be addressing conferences of world experts in his field (psychology) you could have knocked me over with a feather. As for dd1 - well she's always known the world revolves around her.

suzycreamcheese Sun 25-Feb-07 23:03:00

armadillo..nicely put..

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