Our marketing rep told me that at a conference, while looking at our book Are You Confident Today?, a mother stated, "My child doesn't need any more confidence. He's already too cocky."
Upfront, please know we don't like that "c" word - and I'm obviously not talking about "confidence"!
When I heard those statements, I immediately scrunched my nose and said, "What? Too much confidence?"
But it brings up a really good point...when does confidence become cockiness and how do we, as parents, make sure our kids are grounded enough to know the difference?
My older son plays hockey. He's always had natural talent, but has worked really hard to hone his skills. Over the years, my husband and I have watched parents build their kid's ego up, oftentimes to the detriment of the player's attitude and work ethic. By the time the player gets to high school age, his self-perception of his skills is so elevated that even teammates don't want to hang out because "he's such a jerk" and coaches have a hard time getting him to comply with the system (way the coach wants a particular play to go.)
It's hard enough making and keeping friends; why would parents want to put their kid at a disadvantage by creating an ego monster? And, aren't coaches like future bosses? I highly doubt parents want their child to be unsuccessful in the work environment.
We've never been over-the-top parents. We compliment on hard work and question when things didn't turn out as expected. With the amount of time, money, and energy that goes into nurturing a hockey player, we do expect him to do his part. With a good combination of praise and questioning, I think we've help to create a balanced attitude in our son.
Building a healthy self-esteem and providing opportunities to build confidence are key components of a parent's role in raising a child. If your kid really has too much confidence, to the point that he/she is not accepted by his/her peers, it might be time to look at ways to gently rein in his/her ego.