Why Would You Do Anything To Undermine This?

We all know that confidence is important. Most of us wish we had more of it. We spend a lot of time trying to build it up in our kids. By encouraging them. By reassuring them. By seeking out activities that will develop it in them.

So why aren’t our kids more confident? Well, often it’s because despite that work, we also undermine their confidence too. The great football coach Pete Carroll would question coaches who yell at their athletes for this very reason, particularly after big mistakes. If confidence is so important, he asked in his book Win Forever, why would a coach ever do anything to undermine it?

Yet this is what we so often do, without even thinking about it. Not just in how we behave on the sideline of their soccer games or backstage at their school plays, but also how we react to their report cards. The tone we use when we’re frustrated with them, when we’re tired, when they’ve done something they’re not supposed to do. We chip away at the very foundation we’ve been trying to build.

Each of us can remember from our own childhood the effect of one unkind word, one thing our parents did. We forget all the ways they built us up, all the encouraging words. This is said not to terrify you but to remind you of the stakes. Confidence is difficult to build…yet so easy to destroy.

So be careful. Make sure you’re not undermining yourself or them. Don’t be a minimizer, as we’ve said, always be a builder.

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