Children

Show offs vs confidence? Don’t be unfair

I’ve had thoughts that I’ve been trying to organise and turn into something readable for a while. I just can’t quite figure out what I want to say.

Anyway, the thing that sparked whatever thoughts have been swimming around my head was one of large boy’s classmates. She’s a bit of a delicate subject to discuss. There’s some history between him and her. He thinks she’s amazing. But in the early days of school she blew hot and cold and he didn’t know how to cope. Eventually it all blew up and we asked the school to separate them.

But I digress. She’s a pretty girl, magnetic, bright, popular. She’s recently joined a youth theatre group and was in the chorus for Annie. Then the lead in Matilda. The centre of attention as she seems to prefer. It’s a mixture of her nature and her mum pushing her forward.

I think it’s wonderful that she has so much self confidence. We need plenty of young women unafraid to be themselves, proud and strong. And we need young men who respect them and appreciate their strength.

The thing is, it’s not just confidence. It’s more than that. It’s “look at me! Look how amazing I am. I’m the best! Don’t look at them. “

And that’s where I get uncomfortable. The bit where other people loose out. There are other children in that class, in the youth theatre group, wherever who are out-shone by her.

This is hard to express. I don’t want to detract from her strengths but when they are SO bright and overwhelming and forced out, do they overshadow others? I want to turn the volume down on her, so that others are heard. Like when only the most insistent always get picked, but it’s the quietest who need to get the chance to speak.

This was as far as I’d got with my ideas when I had an exchange with the lovely Danielle at Snatched Words on Twitter and she opened my eyes to another possibility. Maybe the little girl who inspired my thoughts isn’t actually that confident? Maybe she is showing off, putting it on, because she’s insecure?

So then I questioned my motives, my pre-judgement of her. Perhaps I’ve been very unfair. She’s the youngest of three with high achieving siblings. Maybe her dramatic side is just how she’s learned to be different, to stand out, to get noticed amongst her siblings.

Really, it’s none of my business. I’ve got no place judging this little girl’s character and behaviour. I certainly shouldn’t be holding against her how treated my son when they were 5.

So what started off as a post about how show offs are dreadful and damaging has turned into opening a little window on myself. In future I’ll try not to see just the surface, look deeper and be more charitable and understand.

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