In my interactions with children, those who are more eloquent seem to come off as more confident children.

However, the keyword is SEEM. While they may appear to be very confident when expressing their ideas, in private, they could still succumb to self-doubts.

I have come to realise that “Confidence is just a state of being.” 

To be confident in any subject, one just needs to accumulate sufficient intensive practice in that area to shine. 

How we feel about ourselves varies with days. However, cumulatively, throughout the days, weeks, months and years, some people may exhibit confidence in more areas and for a longer duration than others. These people are likely to have a higher self-esteem and may go on to succeed better in life. 

Why are some Children more Confident than Others?

1. Strict Parenting 

Have you heard of the book entitled The Tiger Mum by Amy Chua? I think children who tend to be more confident mostly fall under the stewardship of a “tiger” mum. They have crazy-packed schedules. I am not kidding. This is how their schedules typically look like:

Some children may enjoy the after-school activities but most would be burdened by such a punishing schedule.  

“Tuitions from Monday to Sunday, no relaxation time at all!” This was the exact remark made by a 7-year-old child who was feeling the burnout trying to keep up with such a schedule. 

Nevertheless, having a crazy-packed schedule does not guarantee that the child will go on to become more confident. I have also met children who think very little of themselves despite having similar schedules. This brings us to the next point of having a positive and reaffirming environment. 

2. Positive Reinforcement

We become what we were fed. I have a student who revealed that he felt dumb because his mum made him feel so. I was pretty surprise to hear that because he is a very driven child. Nevertheless, when I observed what his mum had been feeding him, I begun to see the connection. 

A typical conversation with his mum will sound like this, “Why did you not do this? Why did you not do that? This is so simple, why can’t you do it?”  I think I am guilty of speaking like this at times to my family as well. Sometimes, we forget that our words can cut deeply with our loved ones, especially in the heat of the moment. 

Over time, when this becomes the norm of how we interact with our children, we may find ourselves floundering at instilling confidence in them. 

In contrast, I have learnt the art of positive reinforcement from another mum who had read and applied the lessons in How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie. I had gone on to read this book because she had demonstrated how this book had lifted her above the crowd.

Even when I was tasked to lecture her son for not behaving his best in school, she reminded me to mention his past achievements and honours to give him the strength and courage to change for the better. She will also not forget to show her genuine appreciation and encouragement constantly to people around her. Such positive reinforcements fuelled our passion, drive and self-belief to do our very best!

I guess, growing up in such an environment, a child would exude confidence with ease and grace for that’s what he had always been fed and thrived on.

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