A Child’s Self-Confidence

What’s funny about little kids until they reach maybe the age of five or six, is that they view the world from such a self-centric point of view. Ask a three year-old what she should get her dad for Father’s Day and she’ll say, “Maybe a Barbie Princess?”

Since that’s exactly what she would want for her birthday, it’s inconceivable that someone might think there would be a gift more awesome than that. There must be so much freedom in being able to speak of exactly what is on your mind, and voice your opinion with unequivocal firmness.

What comes along with that, is a tremendous amount of self-confidence, and it’s a shame to see that erode little by little until they get to middle school where every decision is made with careful calculation to ensure peer approval or opinion.

That contrast is the sharpest when I watch David and Alex together. David is still reasonably sure of himself, and stubborn, so he has a healthy sense of self-worth, but at the same time enjoys picking on an easy target to make himself feel like the alpha dog. It’s fun to see it not work for him.

David: “Alex, you’re so stupid.”
Alex: “No I’m not.”
David: “Yes you are. No one likes you.”
Alex ignoring it all.
David: “Alex, it’s true. No one likes you.”
Alex: “No. EVERYONE likes me.”

David didn’t even bother continuing because Alex said it with such conviction and belief in himself that he knew he wouldn’t be able to wear him down. In Alex’s mind, David was plum crazy because he can’t imagine a reason in the world why anyone wouldn’t like him.

Wish he could keep that feeling forever.

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011


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