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Arrogance vs. Confidence in HSers


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I was talking to a private school elementary teacher recently (my pastor's wife). We were talking about being humble. My oldest daughter wants to dance a solo in her ballet class, which the preacher's wife teaches, and has asked the teacher if she could. The teacher told her that she could only do it once she showed humility. I agreed with her and thanked her for telling my child this.

We then went on to talk about how some of my kids seem to think they can do anything and do it well. She said it's not just my kids but that she sees it in a lot of homeschoolers.

I voiced the thought that maybe it's because our kids miss not only negative peer pressure (thank you LORD!) but also positive peer pressure, for lack of a better word.

Then we thought that maybe it's a difference between confidence and arrogance. I think that hits the nail on the head for my kids. I see so much pride and arrogance in their lives. I'm not sure how to counteract it without breaking their confidence. KWIM?

I for one am not one of those moms who praises everything they do. I'm also not one who tears down everything they do. I would not want to be that.

My daughter thinks that she is this great dancer. Honestly, she does not practice enough or follow directions in class well. She is much more concerned with dancing so that others look at her then dancing as part of worship for God. That's what the teacher has a problem with. I agree with her.

So how do we push back the arrogance? How do we humble our children without breaking them?

Edited by happyhomemaker25
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My oldest has struggled with this a lot. Competitions help bring him down to size. So you win some. You also lose some.

 

He won our area-wide homeschool spelling bee. Big Swelled Pride.

 

He did not win the regional bee. Humble Pie.

 

Trying to work and excel at something in which mom is not the judge helps. We've done writing contests, poster contests, geography/spelling bees, music festivals (along with frequent chair tests), auditions. It's easier for older children but there are things out there for younger children. I don't know if you have a good network to help you locate these things.

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I am wondering what you would call pride and arrogance in your kids, because it seems like a harsh judgement to me.

I believe in helping kids to know and recognise their talents and not trying to bring them down to size, so to speak. Life and others will do that enough.

Is it possible that your kids are overcompensating for not feeling they are truly appreciated?

Both my kids have a fair amount of confidence in themselves - my dd especially. I would not call her arrogant. Ds has confidence in some areas, such as socially, but not in others, such as academically. He is more likely to be arrogant.

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I am wondering what you would call pride and arrogance in your kids, because it seems like a harsh judgement to me.

I believe in helping kids to know and recognise their talents and not trying to bring them down to size, so to speak. Life and others will do that enough.

Is it possible that your kids are overcompensating for not feeling they are truly appreciated?

Both my kids have a fair amount of confidence in themselves - my dd especially. I would not call her arrogant. Ds has confidence in some areas, such as socially, but not in others, such as academically. He is more likely to be arrogant.

 

Hmm, good question.

 

For me there is a difference between pride in the sense of taking pride or being proud of ones accomplishments (especially those that result from hard work) and pride in the sense of being vain or haughty. I think pride in the later sense suggests that the person thinks they are of higher value as a person, not just more accomplished or skilled.

 

Arrogance seems to suggest a sense that "well, of course I'm the best". This not only downplays the ability of others, but may not be based on actual ability from the arrogant person. Or it might be the result of being a big fish in a small pond. I went to a selective college that was full of class presidents, team captains and valedictorians. It was interesting to watch these guys confront not being the best anymore, let along failing.

 

Someone who is arrogant and sometimes someone who is prideful cannot take joy in someone else's accomplishments. A win by someone else can only make them feel smaller, rather than spurring them toward harder work or joy in the competition being hard fought.

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Honesty.

 

I never wanted to tell my dc any of their issues (flailing while running, bad singing voice, &tc). Then, they wanted to show-off their mad skills :001_huh: Well, I found it easier to be honest and blunt. Yes, you are fast, but no you are not running in proper form, let's practice. Yes, you can sing, but you're more of a Buddy the Elf singer than say Whitney Houston. It's nothing to be ashamed of. You could get better with practice. It's probably not quite ready for competition.

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I guess I'm failing to see the point in requiring humility for a ballet solo. Shouldn't things like that be based on talent?

 

Of course, no one likes an arrogant person but I love the fact that my kids are confident and refuse peer pressure because they value their own opinions. Maybe it is because we homeschool and maybe that is just how they are - either way it's a good thing in my mind.

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Guest Dulcimeramy
Honesty.

 

I never wanted to tell my dc any of their issues (flailing while running, bad singing voice, &tc). Then, they wanted to show-off their mad skills :001_huh: Well, I found it easier to be honest and blunt. Yes, you are fast, but no you are not running in proper form, let's practice. Yes, you can sing, but you're more of a Buddy the Elf singer than say Whitney Houston. It's nothing to be ashamed of. You could get better with practice. It's probably not quite ready for competition.

 

:lol:

 

I've used that exact phrase: "It's probably not quite ready for competition."

 

I've been gentle but blunt with a son who would have been emotionally demolished to lose an art contest. I encouraged him to take some more classes and enter contests after that.

 

I've cheerfully encouraged a different son to enter a very tough fiddle competition just so he could lose for once and be taken down a notch.

 

Edited to add: Mostly, when they think they are wonderful I confirm their opinion. No one ever did that for me and I think kids need some encouragement! When they cross over into thinking they are special and others are not, I assist them back down into reality and kindness.

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I guess I'm failing to see the point in requiring humility for a ballet solo. Shouldn't things like that be based on talent

 

:iagree:

 

Also, I would be thrilled if my 13 year old daughter had the self-confidence and self-worth to approach an adult and ask to dance a solo or sing a solo or whatever. I would be infuriated if an adult dared to take my teenage daughter to task for displaying those qualities. I want my children, both daughters and sons, to display confidence and reach for what they want. Perhaps there is more to the story about how the initial approach of the teacher was conducted?

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Honestly, she does not practice enough or follow directions in class well.

 

I would think that these are good reasons for your daughter not to have a ballet solo. I think that humility could have been gently encouraged by discussing these reasons with her. IMHO, the ballet teacher's response to your daughter's request could crush one's spirit, and that makes me sad. I think it shows good initiative that your daughter expressed doing a solo, and perhaps she could be encouraged to practice more to achieve her goal.

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Aren't things like a ballet solo based on specific ability and accomplishment rather than any personality trait? Was the problem in the fact that your daughter asked herself whether she could do it, rather than being asked by the teacher? If so, why knock her down based on a personality trait - why not knock her down professionally, if she's not good enough to deserve a solo, on the grounds of the lack of specific skill and the need to work more to get to the level she can have it? I mean, what does her personality have to do with the ballet story in the first place? It's not professional.

 

Regarding pride, arrogance and humility, those are, quite often, worldview-motivated distinctions... I for one don't see humility as a virtue and pride as a vice, at least not in so strict, clear-cut oppositions. There is humility which is a lack of confidence, a lack of skill to fight for your place and due to which you might actually miss out on stuff. Also, there is pride bordering arrogance which just "suits" some people, in a moderate dose; almost like a "fashion accessory", it fits their personality nicely even if you sometimes get the impression it's a bit too much. To some other people, it wouldn't "fit". Just like humility isn't for everyone either. There are different personality types which are "morally acceptable", at least to me, just like there are different tempers and a calm, "Northern" person isn't necessarily "better" than a coleric, "Southern" one or vice-versa. I would think twice before squeezing a child into a box which might not fit them in the first place, personality-wise; maybe instead of hushing her pride your daughter just needs to learn how to relax a bit, learn to take criticism so she can improve and thus back up her pride rather than get rid of it?

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I think the best thing for my DD has been classes and groups outside her areas of strength. She tends to feel that if something isn't easy, it's impossible, because she's so used to academics coming easy for her. By having to work at her dance and movement classes, she's learning that 1) I'm not always more capable than everyone else (something she absolutely picked up in ps K last year, where she got far too many genius-kid type comments and compliments) 2) If I make a mistake it's not the end of the world and 3) If I try and I work hard, I get better.

 

I'd like to think I could teach that at home-but the fact is that the primary teachers in these skills aren't the adults-they come from simply spending the hours each week in the studio, not just in DD's fairly low level classes, but in seeing what it takes for the older girls, who are so amazing to watch, to succeed at the level they do.

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Agreeing with others, I am confused. If she is the best in the class for this solo, then she should be able to do it without having her attitude (humility) or motivation (doing it for the Lord or self) questioned. If she is not listening, not working hard, not skilled, not talented, why would anyone want her to perform a solo just to reward humility?

 

I'm not sure if you are saying you want her to work harder at ballet or just realize she stinks? Or is she rude, unkind, unpleasant to be around? Decide what character traits are concerning you and then you can focus on them. If she wants to be a serious ballet student but has no idea that she is nowhere near that level, expose her to reality by taking her to other schools and seeing the skills, the hard work, the practice schedules.

 

In general, I find that complimenting effort rather than results keeps false pride and laziness from rearing their ugly heads. "you worked so hard on that, I'm really proud of all the progress you've made" vs. "you're so smart/great!!"

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I guess I'm failing to see the point in requiring humility for a ballet solo. Shouldn't things like that be based on talent?

 

In the professional ballet world (and company schools).....yes. And, if the dancer is an arrogant snot-head about getting the part....the other dancers will take care of that. Pretty quickly. :lol:

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I am wondering what you would call pride and arrogance in your kids, because it seems like a harsh judgement to me.

I believe in helping kids to know and recognise their talents and not trying to bring them down to size, so to speak. Life and others will do that enough.

Is it possible that your kids are overcompensating for not feeling they are truly appreciated?

Both my kids have a fair amount of confidence in themselves - my dd especially. I would not call her arrogant. Ds has confidence in some areas, such as socially, but not in others, such as academically. He is more likely to be arrogant.

 

:iagree: and to Patchfire.

 

Fwiw, I think it's just a personality trait sometimes. It seems to run in dh's family and none of them would even dream of homeschooling! :lol:

 

On the other hand, my son has devastatingly low self-esteem due to some SPD issues. He's getting better but I would be furious if someone dared knock him down for something he really wanted to teach him "humility".

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:lol:

 

I've used that exact phrase: "It's probably not quite ready for competition."

 

I've been gentle but blunt with a son who would have been emotionally demolished to lose an art contest. I encouraged him to take some more classes and enter contests after that.

 

I've cheerfully encouraged a different son to enter a very tough fiddle competition just so he could lose for once and be taken down a notch.

 

Edited to add: Mostly, when they think they are wonderful I confirm their opinion. No one ever did that for me and I think kids need some encouragement! When they cross over into thinking they are special and others are not, I assist them back down into reality and kindness.

Oh, I tell them when they're doing well. Guess I should have mentioned that :p

She is much more concerned with dancing so that others look at her then dancing as part of worship for God. That's what the teacher has a problem with.

For those that don't understand why her attitude is important.

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I was talking to a private school elementary teacher recently (my pastor's wife). We were talking about being humble. My oldest daughter wants to dance a solo in her ballet class, which the preacher's wife teaches, and has asked the teacher if she could. The teacher told her that she could only do it once she showed humility. I agreed with her and thanked her for telling my child this.

We then went on to talk about how some of my kids don't seem to think they can do anything and do it well. She said it's not just my kids but that she sees it in a lot of homeschoolers.

I voiced the thought that maybe it's because our kids miss not only negative peer pressure (thank you LORD!) but also positive peer pressure, for lack of a better word.

Then we thought that maybe it's a difference between confidence and arrogance. I think that hits the nail on the head for my kids. I see so much pride and arrogance in their lives. I'm not sure how to counteract it without breaking their confidence. KWIM?

I for one am not one of those moms who praises everything they do. I'm also not one who tears down everything they do. I would not want to be that.

My daughter thinks that she is this great dancer. Honestly, she does not practice enough or follow directions in class well. She is much more concerned with dancing so that others look at her then dancing as part of worship for God. That's what the teacher has a problem with. I agree with her.

So how do we push back the arrogance? How do we humble our children without breaking them?

 

I'd be wary of making "pushing back the arrogance" and humbling our children the goal. I just say this because of past experience in a church where these kinds of intangible goals for people (adults and children) were present and talked about, but the attitude seemed to me to be about proving one's humility (which to me, results in a lot of pride or a lot of pressure to measure up to someone else's idea of humility). I personally don't think we *can* push back arrogance and make anyone humble. I do think we can model it and talk about it and read about other people from the past who demonstrated humility, and let our kids learn from that. We can certainly also apply pressures to change specific behaviour - "If you don't practice your ballet for 30 minutes, three times next week, I will take away your thus-n-such privilege." Or Mrs. Pastor's-Wife could say, "If you don't follow an instruction in today's class, you will need to sit out of class for five minutes." Or whatever consequences seem to fit. IMO, it's those kinds of things that are going to bring about change - either your dd will decide ballet is not for her, or she will decide she loves ballet and will do what needs to be done. And since doing what needs to be done will be on her mind, there won't be mental room for whatever this intangible pride/arrogance is that is going on.

 

I'd be questioning what Mrs. Pastor's-Wife even means by "showing humility." Did she give your daughter some tangible things to do, in order to demonstrate this physically intangible idea of humility? Kids need that. They need it demonstrated, they need it spelled out for them. And not in a way that knocks them down, but gives them something to attain. Otherwise, how will your daughter know when she is humble enough? Is she supposed to go to the teacher again when she thinks she is humble enough? Is the teacher going to re-evaluate your dd's humility in x number of weeks? Or is your dd in the dark about all of this? And if she is, what kind of motivation is that, to work on humility?

 

I agree with what some others said - pride and arrogance will get knocked out of people sooner or later, by experiences in the wider world. But I do think it's up to us parents to show our kids how to be humble (or whatever positive trait you are trying to teach them), without it looking like you are coming against your child, as much as possible.

 

EDIT: BTW, if your pastor's wife/dd's ballet teacher thinks this is a problem only with homeschoolers, I completely disagree. It is a *human* problem.

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I guess I'm failing to see the point in requiring humility for a ballet solo. Shouldn't things like that be based on talent?

 

Of course, no one likes an arrogant person but I love the fact that my kids are confident and refuse peer pressure because they value their own opinions. Maybe it is because we homeschool and maybe that is just how they are - either way it's a good thing in my mind.

 

:iagree: I think I understand about a humble spirit, but you can be assertive and still be humble about it.

 

My son isn't involved in anything competitive, but he has confidence to assert himself (some of that is genetic, gets it from dh. :lol:)

 

My son is also fairly laid back and I know he has more confidence BECAUSE we homeschool. If he were in school I'm fairly sure he'd have a apathetic attitude about his academics.

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Agreeing with others, I am confused. If she is the best in the class for this solo, then she should be able to do it without having her attitude (humility) or motivation (doing it for the Lord or self) questioned. If she is not listening, not working hard, not skilled, not talented, why would anyone want her to perform a solo just to reward humility?

 

I agree with this comment; the rewarding of the solo shouldn't be based on exhibiting humility but also talent. If she has the talent but is lacking humility then I can understand, but it sounds like she's lacking both?

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I still have scars from Christian teachers judging my attitude from the outside. They taught me to plaster a fake smile on and to say the right words so that I would not be judged to be arrogant or rebellious or to have "bad attitude". Those Christian mentors who truly helped me, came along side me where I was and bolstered me without judging. Yes, immature children and Christians can have problems with arrogance but as others have mentioned, these things have a way of coming to the fore pretty easily. Having an enthusiasm that might include an unrealistic view of one's own abilities is not arrogance. Nurture the enthusiasm while helping the young person to continue to grow even as they start to realize that the task wasn't quite so simple.

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So she can only do a solo if she can show evidence of emotional self-flagellation?

 

From experience, that does not build confidence or improve anyone's performance in any way. It certainly does not improve anyone's character, even if there is the appearance of it to eyes that don't know enough about people.

 

The teacher should have allowed the solo as a reward for achieving some sort of challenge. In this situation, something that would improve her ability. "Not this time, Dear, but if you can master X, we'll consider you for the next show." Then, either the girl will master it or she won't. She will earn "I'm very happy with your improvement, you've mastered X as we discussed so you can certainly do a solo for this show" or "We talked about mastering X, didn't we? While you've improved, you're not quite there yet. Keep working on it, and I'm sure you'll be ready for the next show." Someone in this type of authority situation needs to learn how far to push and how to push in a way that inspires rather than punctures. (I think the teacher has shown herself to be a touch prideful, actually, in the way she dealt with the situation.)

 

Rosie

Edited by Rosie_0801
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I still have scars from Christian teachers judging my attitude from the outside. They taught me to plaster a fake smile on and to say the right words so that I would not be judged to be arrogant or rebellious or to have "bad attitude".

 

This is what I was talking about. When Christians start labelling other Christians as "rebellious" or "prideful" or "arrogant" or "having a bad attitude," it smacks of pride to me on the labeller's part. I don't see how it can help the labelled person. When I was a teen, my heart only started to change on the inside, when I spent time with a group of non-judgmental Christians. And the labellers? Well, they dealt a few years later with the main leader, who'd been involved in a scandal behind the scenes. It all came out eventually. So I really hate this labelling business. I don't think it's at all useful, esp. for children who are trying to learn.

 

(I think the teacher has shown herself to be a touch prideful, actually, in the way she dealt with the situation.)

 

:iagree:

Edited by Colleen in NS
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I want to work on this a little bit before I post more.

Some things I want to clear up though is that this dance program while teaching them to dance is also about teaching them to worship. We are trying to teach the children that worship is not about them, it's about God.

Also some of my children are very confident. I think it comes from their dad who has an over abundance of self confidence. :001_smile: Two of my children in particular (including this young lady) think that the first time you tell them that they have done a good job then they have achieved greatness!

Just off the top of my head I think that I want my children to learn humility while I am still here to help them deal with it. I don't want them to go on AI one day thinking they are destined for Hollywood only to find out that they can't carry a tune in a bucket and be shattered without me there to help them back up.

I appreciate your answers and while I find myself disagreeing with some, I like to see where you all are coming from. I have some other things I would like to bring up but I don't have time right now to back up what I want to say.

Thanks for the honest discussion though.

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I was talking to a private school elementary teacher recently (my pastor's wife). We were talking about being humble. My oldest daughter wants to dance a solo in her ballet class, which the preacher's wife teaches, and has asked the teacher if she could. The teacher told her that she could only do it once she showed humility. I agreed with her and thanked her for telling my child this.

We then went on to talk about how some of my kids seem to think they can do anything and do it well. She said it's not just my kids but that she sees it in a lot of homeschoolers.

I voiced the thought that maybe it's because our kids miss not only negative peer pressure (thank you LORD!) but also positive peer pressure, for lack of a better word.

Then we thought that maybe it's a difference between confidence and arrogance. I think that hits the nail on the head for my kids. I see so much pride and arrogance in their lives. I'm not sure how to counteract it without breaking their confidence. KWIM?

I for one am not one of those moms who praises everything they do. I'm also not one who tears down everything they do. I would not want to be that.

My daughter thinks that she is this great dancer. Honestly, she does not practice enough or follow directions in class well. She is much more concerned with dancing so that others look at her then dancing as part of worship for God. That's what the teacher has a problem with. I agree with her.

So how do we push back the arrogance? How do we humble our children without breaking them?

 

Can you tell her this?

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this dance program while teaching them to dance is also about teaching them to worship. We are trying to teach the children that worship is not about them, it's about God.

...(including this young lady) think that the first time you tell them that they have done a good job then they have achieved greatness!

Just off the top of my head I think that I want my children to learn humility while I am still here to help them deal with it.

 

In the past, I have taken ballet class (and a few other bits of dance training), and I have been involved in "worship dance teams." They are two different things. Ballet is mostly physical training (so physical ability or inability does its own job of knocking down any arrogance), and the worship dance teams I was on were mostly experienced and inexperienced dancers coming together to put some choreography together for the sake of worship services (church, outdoor events, etc.). These dance teams were where there was more talk about the heart's attitude, pride, etc.. But it was also where I experienced more angst emotionally - always worrying about my attitude, how I appeared to others, "I wasn't chosen for this particular choreography - oh, it must be because my attitude wasn't right", etc.. Ballet class was where I simply had to focus on which muscles I was using for what activity, where my leg was, what my hand was doing, was the curve of my arm correct; because the instructor was concretely teaching me all these things. And if I did them incorrectly, she'd correct me; and it wasn't an emotional deal to receive that correction. What I did learn was that I used my lower body far more strongly than my upper body, and my upper body needed more practice and strengthening in order to make it do what I wanted it to do. That was a blow to my pride, but at least I knew concretely what I could do about it, if I wanted to go further in dance. But it wasn't a blow to my personhood. I wasn't labelled lazy or rebellious; I was labelled "low upper body strength - needs to do upper body exercises". I didn't know how to become humble, but I did know how to do exercises. And if I didn't do the exercises, it wasn't a reflection on what a decent Christian I was or not.

 

I would think that if you enrolled your dd in a ballet class where the focus was on the actual ballet techniques, you'd find her to be getting humble (and having fun learning) pretty quickly. Another option is to enroll her in a ballet class that is taught by a Christian who understands that the discipline itself will bring about humility, and that teacher can graciously and unobtrusively help the student through any downfalls she may experience. IMO, a ballet teacher operating from a Christian worldview will try to help the student keep her dignity, while supporting her through the difficulty of learning humility. I had two ballet teachers like this, and it was a far different and far deeper learning experience than the worship dance teams I participated in. Through these two ladies (and a couple of other dance/artistic professionals, who were Christians, I was around at the time) I learned WAY more about God and His ways than from my other experiences.

 

I'm pretty sure I understand the mentality from where you come, because of my past experiences. But I do think there is a better way to help our kids learn humility, than to subject them to experiences such as your pastor's wife/private school teacher/dance teacher's evaluation of her attitude.

Edited by Colleen in NS
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I was searching for scriptures about humility and found this which sums up what I believe!

Here is a sample:

 

<LI id=jsArticleStep1 itxtHarvested="1" itxtNodeId="9">The Bible defines humility as the opposite of pride. In Proverbs 11:2, the Bible says, "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." The Bible repeats this message in Proverbs 18:12: "Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honor." The problem with pride is that it keeps people focused upon themselves instead of on God; humility focuses upon God rather than upon our own strengths.

 

 

I think that this teacher is a wonderful godly woman. She is a true mentor to these girls. Yes, she explained what she meant by humility. Daughter came home and told us what was said and we talked about it more. I am also going to share the above article with Daughter. I welcome her correction of my girls because I know she does it in love. God's people are to be clothed in humility. (Col 3:12)

 

 

 

Once again thank you so much for such a good discussion. I don't agree with a lot of you, but it at least gave me a foundation to work with. :001_smile:

 

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I don't think this issue is unique to homeschoolers. Kids don't have the same life experience - adults can help by carefully pointing out what areas need work, and helping them to have a grounded, realistic view of themselves. Tempering that by encouraging their passions and pointing out improvements would be ideal, IMO.

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Humility is being comfortable with who you are--not thinking more of yourself than you should , nor less of yourself. It is a focus that is other-centered, not self-centered.

 

If you look at the new stuff coming out on praise (and what the grandparents said when praise became the craze), global praise actually harms. "You are smart." "You are a fabulous athlete." etc. What is helpful is to praise the process: the effort, hard work, time put in.

 

It's not a binary choice: confidence or arrogance. It's a perspective: hard work, others first. Our confidence is in the Lord. We are grateful when God works through us. We are to be good stewards of his gifts.

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I think that hits the nail on the head for my kids. I see so much pride and arrogance in their lives. I'm not sure how to counteract it without breaking their confidence.

 

So how do we push back the arrogance? How do we humble our children without breaking them?

 

I don't agree with a lot of you, but it at least gave me a foundation to work with. :001_smile:

 

 

If you're not sure how to counteract your children's pride and arrogance, and you were asking about how to push back the arrogance, but then decided you didn't agree with a lot of the opinions put forth here; then why did you post your questions here in public in the first place? When a person posts questions like this on a public forum, I think there is an assumption by responders that the OP will at least be open (humble, even) to considering and discussing the varied responses.

 

But with your last post, I am now assuming you were only looking for a certain type of response. A certain way of pushing back arrogance and humbling our kids. I can't imagine what that way could be - I can only allow situations to happen that will highlight the need for humility - but I can't force my child to *be humble.* And I *know* from experience that constant talk about "being humble" and admonitions to "not be arrogant" or "you can do this when you show humility" do NOT work for every child. The very ideas are intangible and they need to be translated to the practical, and tailored to the child so as to build up and not tear down. I think the child (really, all of us) has to humble him/herself - decide for him/herself in his/her heart that "ya know, I haven't been practicing like the teacher said to, and I haven't paid close enough attention in class. I will try to do so from now on. Teacher, how many minutes a day did you want me to practice, and which exercises did you want me to work on?" But no one else can make that change happen in a child's heart. We can only highlight situations where humility might be called for and show the child the way.

Edited by Colleen in NS
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I still have scars from Christian teachers judging my attitude from the outside. They taught me to plaster a fake smile on and to say the right words so that I would not be judged to be arrogant or rebellious or to have "bad attitude". Those Christian mentors who truly helped me, came along side me where I was and bolstered me without judging. Yes, immature children and Christians can have problems with arrogance but as others have mentioned, these things have a way of coming to the fore pretty easily. Having an enthusiasm that might include an unrealistic view of one's own abilities is not arrogance. Nurture the enthusiasm while helping the young person to continue to grow even as they start to realize that the task wasn't quite so simple.

 

:iagree:

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So she can only do a solo if she can show evidence of emotional self-flagellation?

 

From experience, that does not build confidence or improve anyone's performance in any way. It certainly does not improve anyone's character, even if there is the appearance of it to eyes that don't know enough about people.

 

The teacher should have allowed the solo as a reward for achieving some sort of challenge. In this situation, something that would improve her ability. "Not this time, Dear, but if you can master X, we'll consider you for the next show." Then, either the girl will master it or she won't. She will earn "I'm very happy with your improvement, you've mastered X as we discussed so you can certainly do a solo for this show" or "We talked about mastering X, didn't we? While you've improved, you're not quite there yet. Keep working on it, and I'm sure you'll be ready for the next show." Someone in this type of authority situation needs to learn how far to push and how to push in a way that inspires rather than punctures. (I think the teacher has shown herself to be a touch prideful, actually, in the way she dealt with the situation.)

 

Rosie

 

:iagree:

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This is what I was talking about. When Christians start labelling other Christians as "rebellious" or "prideful" or "arrogant" or "having a bad attitude," it smacks of pride to me on the labeller's part. I don't see how it can help the labelled person. When I was a teen, my heart only started to change on the inside, when I spent time with a group of non-judgmental Christians. And the labellers? Well, they dealt a few years later with the main leader, who'd been involved in a scandal behind the scenes. It all came out eventually. So I really hate this labelling business. I don't think it's at all useful, esp. for children who are trying to learn.

 

:iagree: I have a hard time trying to believe that this particular child was malicious in her intent. I actually think it's a positive thing to have the confidence to go to an instructor with a desire like that at a young age. And I think a responsible adult would have given this child specific directions on how she could reach her goal (whether they were personal, spiritual, etc) and not just labeled her. That was a teaching moment that was lost IMHO. I was cut off at the knees so many times at Catholic school growing up with this kind of "holier than thou" attitude, I lost all self confidence. And I'm no longer Christian at all for the record.

 

I think competitions are great for kid's reality checks. My oldest is very good at piano for his age. So I really make a point of signing him up for competitions I think he won't win. I take him to see really talented musicians. It's a good thing to see outside your own little bubble. I'm not a constant praise kind of parent either. I try to praise effort over accomplishment. I rarely throw out the generic "good job" line unless real effort was expended.

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If you're not sure how to counteract your children's pride and arrogance, and you were asking about how to push back the arrogance, but then decided you didn't agree with a lot of the opinions put forth here; then why did you post your questions here in public in the first place? When a person posts questions like this on a public forum, I think there is an assumption by responders that the OP will at least be open (humble, even) to considering and discussing the varied responses.

 

But with your last post, I am now assuming you were only looking for a certain type of response. A certain way of pushing back arrogance and humbling our kids. I can't imagine what that way could be - I can only allow situations to happen that will highlight the need for humility - but I can't force my child to *be humble.* And I *know* from experience that constant talk about "being humble" and admonitions to "not be arrogant" or "you can do this when you show humility" do NOT work for every child. The very ideas are intangible and they need to be translated to the practical, and tailored to the child so as to build up and not tear down. I think the child (really, all of us) has to humble him/herself - decide for him/herself in his/her heart that "ya know, I haven't been practicing like the teacher said to, and I haven't paid close enough attention in class. I will try to do so from now on. Teacher, how many minutes a day did you want me to practice, and which exercises did you want me to work on?" But no one else can make that change happen in a child's heart. We can only highlight situations where humility might be called for and show the child the way.

 

 

Just because I don't agree does not mean I don't appreciate the different view points. Many people said they don't think that we should expect humility or make it a character trait to look for. I don't agree with that. I liked reading others opinions. I was expecting a different answer. Maybe more practical ways to teach humility. But most here thought that it was not necessary.

I think it's perfectly ok for the teacher to expect a humble heart of worship to do a solo. Others blasted the teacher for daring to correct the child in that way. I'm ok with that. It's not what I was looking for, but I can still respect the opinion.

Thanks again to everyone.

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So how do we push back the arrogance? How do we humble our children without breaking them?

 

A really great piece of parenting advice I heard goes like this, "more is caught than taught."

 

Some things you can do to imitate humility in your home: First and foremost, don't put other people down in your conversation. Instead, think of ways to speak favorably about others, and do it often. Also, do nice things for people. Make a meal for someone who's sick. Invite neighborhood kids over for cookies and milk and to play with your kids. Help out an elderly person in their yard, or with their trash cans. Have some folks over for dinner who you normally would not. Involve the kids in these helping activities. These are just a few examples, for the creative mind there are an endless number of humble acts you can work out together. If you can work out humility in your home, the attitudes will follow. God bless.

Edited by JenniferB
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Just because I don't agree does not mean I don't appreciate the different view points. Many people said they don't think that we should expect humility or make it a character trait to look for. I don't agree with that. I liked reading others opinions. I was expecting a different answer. Maybe more practical ways to teach humility. But most here thought that it was not necessary.

I think it's perfectly ok for the teacher to expect a humble heart of worship to do a solo. Others blasted the teacher for daring to correct the child in that way. I'm ok with that. It's not what I was looking for, but I can still respect the opinion.

Thanks again to everyone.

 

I don't think that anyone thinks that humility isn't a desirable character trait. Many of us use books like "The Book of Virtues" or "Wisdom and the Millers". People talked about modeling humility, of coming beside someone as a mentor.

 

But I do think that many of us don't see a lack of humility shown in the brief scenario you gave us. Perhaps if you had talked of her saying things like "I should do it because I'm better than everyone else" or "How could you give that solo to X, she's not half as good as I am", we would think differently. All we saw in your example was someone who was eager and enthusiastic to do something - perhaps for the Lord. But we do not know your child, her tone of voice, her basic attitude. Our cautions were that many times in Christian circles, attitudes are ascribed to people when they weren't really held by that person to begin with. That can cause hurt and even a turning away from the church.

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I'm going to bypass the whole issue of how/why a dance solo should be allowed. I think the bigger issue is that you think that your child doesn't work hard enough (at dance or other things), and that she tries to skate by on natural talent. If that is the case, then I wholeheartedly applaud you for recognizing the issue and wanting to do something about it.

 

I think it's pretty common for kids who are naturally a bit talented at something to learn that they don't have to try very hard to move up and get praised. However, it can set up a situation where the child starts to either identify with talent/intelligence equaling not having to try hard and/or where the child doesn't learn the important skill of how to work diligently on a difficult task. For some kids this can cause a lot of issues later when they hit something that really requires work.

 

I found the book Mindset to be helpful for me when working on this issue. I've been working on praising my child for the effort he puts into something, not for the end result. I want my son to learn the importance of working hard even when the going gets rough, so I try to put my attention on this and praise when I see him sticking to something hard. I don't praise for a great job that didn't take effort. It's been slow going, but I have started to see improvement. I hope it will continue, but it's definitely a slow road.

 

I don't know if that's really what you're getting at, but I thought I would throw it out there.

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Thank you. I see that I might have not been clear enough. It was not the child asking to do it, it was other things displayed in class throughout the year. She is an eager and ambitious child. We don't think that's wrong. :) She does have a problem thinking she is the best at everything without putting forth a lot of effort. She pats herself on the back a lot and is quick to judge others. She really is not humble at all.

I do apologize for not being clear.

Thank you for the ideas of showing humility. We do some of those things but now I have some more to add to our list. I so agree with the best way to teach a character trait is to model it, I just wanted to see if I could do more.

I will look into that book. Thanks for the recommendation.

Once again you guys are so helpful. Thank you.

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In that case, what you probably want is, along with praise or constructive criticism for your girlie, is to mention other's achievements. "Have you watched X lately? She's really improved in Y over the past few weeks." Encouraging her to notice and to praise others is a way of fine tuning her natural judging inclinations towards the constructive. Then you casually mention things like "That was nice of you to praise X, I think it cheered her up. She looked a little flat when she arrived," to continue the habit. Until she becomes used to this routine, be sure to feed her first.

 

Rosie

Edited by Rosie_0801
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Many people said they don't think that we should expect humility or make it a character trait to look for. ...I was expecting a different answer. Maybe more practical ways to teach humility. But most here thought that it was not necessary.

 

I guess I'm just not "reading" the responses in this way. I don't see anyone saying you shouldn't expect humility or shouldn't teach humility. I think what many said was that you have to be careful with *how* you go about it, or you might end up pushing her away from the Christian faith you want her to have.

 

I mean, I think the Christian faith is about loving God and demonstrating that love to other people in practical ways. Personal growth *will* occur when we do this - the lessons in humility will come, but without the constant looking inward and wondering if your humility metre is measuring up. Does she see the dance class as an outward demonstration of God's love, to Him, or as a blessing to others in a church service? Or is it just something for her to do, and so she just coasts along in it? If she's coasting and that doesn't really bother her, then what about finding something else for her to do? We can express our worship to God (and service to others) in so many ways, because He created us to be unique.

 

As well, I counted 14 posts, previous to yours here, that *did* have practical ways to teach humility - some based on the scenario you presented, and some based on others' experiences themselves or with their own children. You might want to read the posts again and dig out the sentence or two hidden among the theoretical talk, that gave practical advice and/or examples.

 

She does have a problem thinking she is the best at everything without putting forth a lot of effort. She pats herself on the back a lot and is quick to judge others. She really is not humble at all.

 

Service work helps, like a previous poster detailed. But again, I'd caution against saying something like, "Daughter, I would like you to rake the neighbour's leaves, because I think it would be a good lesson in serving and humility." Instead, I would say, "Daughter, I would like you to rake the neighbour's leaves because he is sick and it would bless him to be able to rest and not have to worry about his ditch getting clogged." Put the focus outward, onto other people - not her own attitude. Oh sure, the attitudes will come out at times and when they calm down and after the leaves are raked, you can be open to her coming to you and saying, "I hated doing that! Why did I have to?" "Because he needed you to." Someday she might realize that being genuinely needed by and being a blessing to somebody is very humbling. In a good way. And IME, that goes a whole lot farther than making someone go through a humility lesson or lecture.

 

Once again you guys are so helpful.

 

I'm confused on this because you said you disagreed with a lot of us. If you disagree with a lot of us, and you think that most of us didn't think teaching humility was necessary, how are we then "so helpful" to you "once again"? I'm finding your posts more and more confusing. It's as though you are looking for specific types of responses but won't say what they are, and then telling us you disagree with a lot of us but won't clearly say why. But I wish you wisdom in helping your daughter.

Edited by Colleen in NS
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In that case, what you probably want is, along with praise or constructive criticism for your girlie, is to mention other's achievements. "Have you watched X lately? She's really improved in Y over the past few weeks." Encouraging her to notice and to praise others is a way of fine tuning her natural judging inclinations towards the constructive. Then you casually mention things like "That was nice of you to praise X, I think it cheered her up. She looked a little flat when she arrived," to continue the habit. Until she becomes used to this routine, be sure to feed her first.

 

Rosie

 

:iagree:

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Thank you. I see that I might have not been clear enough. It was not the child asking to do it, it was other things displayed in class throughout the year. She is an eager and ambitious child. We don't think that's wrong. :) She does have a problem thinking she is the best at everything without putting forth a lot of effort. She pats herself on the back a lot and is quick to judge others. She really is not humble at all.

I do apologize for not being clear.

Thank you for the ideas of showing humility. We do some of those things but now I have some more to add to our list. I so agree with the best way to teach a character trait is to model it, I just wanted to see if I could do more.

I will look into that book. Thanks for the recommendation.

Once again you guys are so helpful. Thank you.

 

Sorry, but to me, when I hear you say that she thinks she is the best at everything and pats herself on the back--that makes me think she may actually be insecure. She is a young teen, going through many changes. If she is quick to judge others, could it be that others have also been quick to judge her? How do you know she thinks she is the best at everything without putting forth much effort? Has she said that to you? She may appear to be that way to you, but appearances can be deceiving. Have you been understanding to her? Have you been tender-hearted to her? You cannot *teach* anyone humility. She will be humbled through life experience.

 

You said that the teacher feels that your daughter is dancing to perform for others instead of for God. I can only imagine how confusing a comment like this must be for a child. Dancing is all about performing, isn't it? Isn't it called a performing art? You are expressing yourself and sharing that with others. It is communicating with others via dance. Yes? No? Am I making any sense at all here? Your daughter may be a lovely dancer and have dramatic flair, which may in fact be turning this teacher off. Part of dance is communicating and sharing with others. What is wrong with that? To be thinking about how she has to act differently in dancing to make dance become worship to God as opposed to dancing for people is just plain confusing and unrealistic, isn't it?

 

Have you considered letting your daughter take a real ballet class?

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