One thing that has become increasingly apparent to me is that my two year-old little boy exudes confidence. From the time that he wakes up in the morning until the time that he goes to sleep, he approaches everything with an unrelenting curiosity, desire to learn, and “can do” attitude. Thus, his days are spent exploring his world—seeing what he can lift off the counter, discovering what he can accomplish by pushing buttons, figuring out how to open and close cabinet doors, finding new methods to play with his toys, and most recently, testing his physical ability, agility, and strength.
Yesterday, I discovered that a little self-confidence goes an amazingly long way. While I sat on the porch and watched my little boy explore his swing set, I saw him attempt to climb the rungs (a.k.a. rock wall) to the slide. My immediate reaction was complete and utter dismissal. He’s not going to figure out how to climb that rock wall. That thing’s meant for a five year-old, and even then, I still don’t think it’s that easy to climb.
As I continued to watch him, my jaw dropped in utter disbelief as he made it to the fifth, sixth, seventh, and then last and final rung. What? Did he just do what I thought he did? He immediately sat his little hiney down on the platform as he’s been instructed to do all summer long, and woosh, down the slide he went without a single bit of coaxing, coddling, lifting, or pushing from mommy.
Watching him conquer that slide was like watching one of my most disadvantaged students ace a speech or writing assignment. It reminded me of what “mind over matter” can accomplish and why the “I think I can” attitude desperately needs to be nurtured, supported, and encouraged.
Children are born with self-confidence. After watching and observing my Lil’ Lewie, I’m sure of it. Now, it’s my role as a parent to make sure he keeps it. Where does it go? Why do most of my students (like 80%) no longer have it? I’m not sure.
Somewhere along the way, my insecure students were told they were not good enough, and they believed it. Perhaps it was a message sent by their own parents or perhaps it was a message sent by their peers. All I know, is that I’m going to do whatever I can to help my little boy preserve his. It will be the single most important gift I can give to him as a parent.
at 3:19 AM