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Behaviour/development

Difference between confident and over confident child

23 replies

Eenie · 03/06/2014 15:50

DD has just turned 3. She has been going to nursery a couple of days a week since she was 9 months. She is quite bright and is very outgoing most of the time. Myself and Dh were both quite shy as children and were brought up to be good children, who spoke when we were spoken to (to an extent). We are pleased therefore that dd is outgoing and friendly. She often looks after the younger children in nursery, and brings them a toy if they are upset etc, and loves to go to soft play etc with her friends. Occasionally she can be a bit shy, and sometimes if she doesn't know people, she can be a bit quiet, but as soon as someone speaks to her, she opens up and is very chatty. We have never used the word shy around her, as DH is convinced that his parents calling him shy, made his shyness worse.
Anyway, just recently, I have had the thought that she is perhaps becoming a bit overconfident. We were at a soft okay centre a couple of weeks ago and she started talking to a lady who was there with her ds of similar age. She was telling them all about her favourite things at home and what she likes to do. The boy was quiet and didn't really say anything. Another example is at nursery, when I drop her off in the morning, she sometimes goes straight over to children and starts talking to them, wanting to hug them and play with them, but on occasions, the other child will just kind of stand there and not really react to dd at all. I've always been really pleased that she is sociable and honestly, without bragging, her speech and communication has always been advanced for her age, so she has always tried to interact with other children when they perhaps don't or can't interact back in the same way. But just recently, I have started to wonder whether other parents (eg the one at soft play) see her as a bit over confident and even precocious. She's only just turned 3 so is still very little, but am I right to worry or am I being dramatic and over the top? Apologies for the essay, I would just like to ensure as much as I can, that she grows up confident but not too much. When our children are starting to talk etc, as parents, we do spend a lot of time saying "Freddie, tell grandad what you did at nursery, show grandma that,lovely picture you did" etc etc. I'm worrying that by doing this, I'm making her want to talk about herself a lot. Am I being silly or not?? Thanks

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HolidayCriminal · 03/06/2014 18:59

I think you're being a bit silly. Maybe she needs practice in letting other people take turns in conversation, but otherwise, don't squash her spirit.

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ExBrightonBell · 03/06/2014 19:45

You are worrying over nothing really, I think. My ds (nearly 2) is a chatterbox but only on his own terms. If a 3 yr old came over to him at soft play and started talking to him he would clam up and not join in. Nothing to do with the social skills of the other child.

Also, at 3 yrs old they don't really get the idea of subtle social skills like you are describing. They can be prone to dominating conversations and talking about what interests them. She just needs more practice, so keep encouraging her to chat with you and others.

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Minnieisthedevilmouse · 03/06/2014 20:02

I'd call that friendly, approachable, smart, etc. why do you wish to paint it negatively? She wasn't rude. She was conversational. So long as you are there to help in the back ground I see no issue. Sounds a nice child.

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Eenie · 03/06/2014 20:19

Thanks for your replies. I actually don't see it as negative really. I think she's a positive and sociable child. I think I'm suffering from a lack of confidence to be honest, and very frequently I see on websites such as this, comments from people like "you might think what your pfb does is adorable, trust me, other people don't". I also know an older child who is very confident and outgoing and I know people who describe her as precocious and domineering so I got a bit worried. Thanks very much for your replies though, that's made me feel better.

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ShineSmile · 03/06/2014 23:33

OP, I get what you mean.

I want my DD to be confident but modest too at the same time. I think this is something you can instil in her when she is a bit older and can understand more.

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AdeptusMechanicus · 04/06/2014 00:03

Eenie The other kids could be more shy than your dd. I would encourage your dd's behaviour but guide her on the issue that sometimes it also helps to listen to what others have to say as this facilitates good communication with others.

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TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle · 04/06/2014 04:54

Ooooh I have similar worries! I was extremely shy as a child and my dd is anything but. She's very comfortable and confident and chats to anyone and I worry people and other children find her annoying!

But there's little I can do about it, she is who she is and as long as she's not being aggressive or difficult with other people I tell myself to let her get on with it!

And have a google of what precocious means - it's something like "having developed ahead of their years" so you should take it as a compliment...!

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Only1scoop · 04/06/2014 05:18

She sounds lovely ....my dd also started nursery at 9 months and she has just turned 4. All these things you mention....initiating chatting with others....hugs and interaction with nursey peers I think is lovely....dd also did these things from a really early age. You should be really proud of her she sounds delightful.

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melissa83 · 04/06/2014 06:13

My dd is like that, but its significantly better than being shy. Shes at school now and has friends wherevee she goes

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oohdaddypig · 04/06/2014 06:26

She sounds lovely and naturally outgoing and confident. I wouldn't want to squash that.

I know we value modesty in the UK but isn't that for later years?

Please don't try to change your spirited little girl.

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KittieCat · 04/06/2014 06:42

I firmly believe there is no such thing as an over confident child. DS is the same and I'm proud and pleased that he is so self assured and chatty. He's hard to manage sometimes but it just means he's secure and happy in his own skin.

I hope his confidence will help him to make friends and will settle as he gets older (he's three).

There's an interesting post on Laura Markham's Aha Parenting about just this subject.

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Parliamo · 04/06/2014 06:47

You're applying adult understanding of social norms to a child. Social rules and expectations are very nuanced and most adults make mistakes/ don't recognise boundaries etc.

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beatingwings · 04/06/2014 06:54

Kittie- I disagree. I have met several over confident children. To the point of arrogance. Their pushy ways can be overbearing and intimidate other children.

Children are often popular as friends because they have a good listening ear, not because they want to always be the own to push their views forward.
Overly confident children can be the ones that end up being avoided n the playground as they are often the ones to step on others, want to be the first in a game, want to be the one who is chosen or volunteer.

I have met some very disagreeable over confident children ( and adults too).

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KittieCat · 04/06/2014 07:04

beatingwings, life would be dull if we all thought the same!

My experience differs a great deal but that's what makes the world go round.

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notadoctor · 04/06/2014 07:06

She sounds absolutely lovely - although I'm a bit biased because my DD (2.5yo) is like this too! She's very physically affectionate too - and also loves rough and tumble tickle games - so the one thing I'm working on is teaching her to say, "would you like a cuddle?" "Would you like to play tickles?" etc before she touches other children.

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beatingwings · 04/06/2014 07:08

Indeed our experience differs, but your DD is only 3 years old. I have had children at school for a cumulative total of 25 years so have had a bit more time to watch older children and their dynamics ( as well as being a qualified teacher).
I am simply pointing out that I have seen many "over confident" children have a difficult time.

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KittieCat · 04/06/2014 07:16

The OP is talking about a three year old and I maintain there is no such thing as over confidence at this age.

Her child sounds lovely and there is plenty of time for her experiences to iron out the 'rough edges' of her personality and for her to understand the subtlety of human interaction and relationships.

I sincerely hope I don't behave as I did when I was three!

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Only1scoop · 04/06/2014 07:18

Op's dd is 3 years old.

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SpottieDottie · 04/06/2014 07:21

She sounds fine.

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WhereTheWildlingsAre · 04/06/2014 07:21

All children have strengths and weaknesses and they have to learn how to manage those socially. All we can do is help guide them along the way. I would celebrate your child's confidence and kindness but i would occasionally and gently point out if it was a situation where she was over stepping the mark.

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tumbletumble · 04/06/2014 07:45

My DC are a bit older (eldest is 8) so I do say 'don't show off' if I think they are talking about themselves too much. I wouldn't worry about this for a 3yo though.

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beatingwings · 04/06/2014 07:53

My worry would be that she is too trusting of adult strangers.

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Eenie · 04/06/2014 08:04

Thanks everyone, your replies are really helpful. A good point about being too trusting of adult strangers though, thanks, I'll have a think about that.

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