This week Mum Turned Mom offered ‘Shine’ as the topic of The Prompt. This made me think about how I raise my children. How my friends raise their children. We want our children to do well. Many want their children to excel. But how much? Do you want your child to be the star of their class? The prima ballerina or the black belt in karate? Perhaps you just want him or her to be the best person they can be. Whatever that means.
But what happens when they do shine? What do you do when little Wilfred or Freya is the best student in their class? Do you make a Facebook announcement? Do you send an email to your family and friends? Or do you just keep the knowledge between you and your partner, and gush about your little darlings in the evenings? Recently, parents were announcing their children’s GCSE grades on Facebook. Although I did not grow up in the UK and am not overly familiar with GCSEs, I didn’t think that some of the grades were very good. Parents seemed thrilled nonetheless.
And what about your child? Are they allowed to tell everyone that they are a candidate for Mensa or even that they can now ride a bike? Or are you teaching your child to be modest and self-deprecating? A few weeks ago, my six-year old daughter was mentioning how clever and beautiful she is. Husband was aghast to hear such outspoken self-admiration, such high esteem. But shouldn’t children have healthy self-esteem? How are they to succeed if they do not think highly of themselves? How can you shine if you are not confident in your intelligence or your abilities? I understand that too much self-esteem can lead children thinking they have greater abilities than they do, but I think we need to find a balance. As parents, we should give our children the confidence to feel that they can shine. How do you find the right balance?