Is this normal?

Over the last couple of weeks my two boys have tried emailing various people to express their opinions, ask questions or offer suggestions. They wanted to contact Cartoon Network with a suggestion for a storyline for one of their favorite cartoons. Then my 8 year old decided that he wanted to ask Highlights for advice on dealing with his big brother. Just now my 12 year old came and asked if he could send Cornelia Funke an email suggesting that she work to get the book Dragon Rider made into a movie. “I’m going to tell her to be sure to oversee production of the movie so they don’t ruin it like they did to Eragon.” I can think of other examples, but you get the idea.

I was never this confident as a child (or really as an adult) and the idea that I would do or say something which would make me look foolish or presumptuous would have prevented me from even considering contacting well know people to converse with them. Should I be glad that they don’t have the crippling self-consciousness that I have struggled with for most of my life or worried that they think so much of themselves that they assume that people want to hear what they think?

Hmmmmm . . . I’ve always struggled with the difference between confidence and arrogance or narcissism as well as where presumption and assertiveness meet. The older I get, the more I think my view of these issues have been out of wack. So, any opinions on how to help my kids draw these lines appropriately?

One thought on “Is this normal?

  1. No big ideas on your final question, but I wouldn’t sweat it based on what you’ve described here. What your kids are wanting to do sounds pretty normal for children who haven’t been bashed over the head with conformity and peer pressure. (And not even presumptuous, really.) I’m starting to see the same kinds of things in my 7 year old daughter. I never thought I would, because she’s kind of shy, but she hasn’t ever been teased about her ideas, so she’s quite confident in them. I think that’s great. My guess is that they will learn the lessons they need to learn naturally as they get feedback from their actions. I’d rather see my kids a little over-confident than under-confident at a young age. I think appropriate humility is easier to graft onto self-confidence than the other way around.


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