Children and Confidence

September 4, 2009 at 2:01 am Leave a comment

This is an excerpt from an article we wrote that appeared in The Christian Science Monitor in August:

New York – “NYC Prep” just had its season finale, and it seems everyone from high school students to TMZ is talking about it; the latest in TV reality shows. It’s a perspective on the seamy pettiness of a handful of wealthy teenagers.

These teens were filmed spending most of their time (when not in school) shopping, going to fashion shows, dining at expensive restaurants, and espousing their narrow perspectives on life. Though it’s certainly not life typical of all teens, the resulting banality is exactly what happens to you when you don’t challenge yourself, or your children.

The lives of the “NYC Prep” teens are largely devoid of healthy risks – so they fill their lives making poor choices. Their wealth pampers them and encloses them in a world of petty gossip and unhealthy risk-taking. One of the boys this season, for example, alludes to using cocaine. Another one of the teens holds parties in her apartment rather than focusing on her schoolwork.

Unfortunately, such unwise risk-taking is not confined to reality television or the wealthy. Any child who has not learned to take good risks will take poor ones instead.

Examples include the 10-year-old who rides his skateboard on a busy street to show his friends how “cool” he is, or the 14-year-old who doesn’t try out for the school chorus because she is afraid that she will be rejected. Left unchecked, these choices can severely limit a child’s success and happiness.

Children of all ages need to challenge themselves by taking everyday risks that promote confidence, accomplishment, and a greater capacity for tolerance and compassion.

To read the full article <click here>

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