As a new mom, I was once surprised to hear my husband say that the most important thing we could teach our child was self-confidence. Now, I know better, chiefly from learning to establish my ways in order to delete self-doubt and replace it with fearless achievement in my life and the lives of those I influence.
I now realize that self-confidence is "seeing opportunity where others see obstacles, " and strive to nurture it in my son, while bolstering my own. Having recently read an excerpt from Amy Chua's wildly controversial new book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, I had this resolve renewed. (I also requested it at my local library, as I have cultural interest in it beyond gleaning parenting insights.)
Just yesterday, my son made valiant efforts to put on his sock, and when he whimpered in discouragement and handed it to me, I handed it back to him to try again, telling him (sweetly and excitedly) that big boys don't fuss, and I KNOW you can do it very soon. Guess what, he persisted for a VERY long time. It felt like an eternity to me. Though he did not master it yesterday, he has become quite adept at putting on other articles of clothing at just 2 years old, and NOTHING beats hearing him squeal, "Mommy, I DID IT!" When I see that look on his face, I KNOW exactly how he feels in his heart, for it is how I feel bringing order into my life, and sharing it with you. I would not choose "letting him just be a kid"(this means vegetating with Sponge"brained" Bob) over such a gift ANY DAY.
Today, I was moved to tears watching this presentation, and am more determined than ever to give my child the gift of life skills and confidence. Teaching him to do things for himself requires more effort and sacrifice on my part than doing it for him, or delegating that task to other. Incidentally, it is less stressful as well! That said, I am coming very close to creating a budget for the cost of preschool, but repurposing it to pay for housekeeping, cooking, and a host of other work that I do, so I can devote more time to teaching him! In spite of being a very knowledgeable person, with multicultural experience, I admit that I have been struggling with a lack of confidence as concerning taking charge of my son's "academic" education.
Pondering concepts such as these makes it very clear to me why my husband laments having to be in the office while I "get to spend all day with him," and reminds me of the wise words of a millionaire mentor: "You [and your child] profit most from that which you resist!"
The entrepreneurial spirit causes one to create something to fill a need, and to have the confidence to follow through. What would you create for your family and in your life if you knew you could not fail? I have chosen some good that I could find from admittedly controversial and politically incorrect sources. What would happen, and what would you and your child achieve and create if together you learned to "choose the good?"