Building Confidence

I grew up a somewhat shy girl.

I never had a problem making friends, but I was astute enough to choose my friends to make up for the missing pieces in my personality. So even if I wasn’t THE smartest girl in the class, I hung around with the kids who were smart. Even though I was mediocre in my athletic ability, hanging with the kids who were good at sports shielded me from really feeling bad about it.

I was part of the gang, not a leader. A member.

This had its good points. I wasn’t subjected to bullying, because I was friends with everyone. My status in the several “cliques” I formed up though high school shielded me from being an outcast. But it had it’s downside too. I was somewhat invisible. I was well-liked, but easily forgotten. In fact, I didn’t even attend my Senior Prom. Why?  Because it was “assumed” I had a date (all my friends did), but, alas, I did not.

I wasn’t the BEST. I wasn’t the WORST. I sailed under the radar.

Finally, in college I established myself as a leader. I was aware enough that I had to move my life in the direction I wanted to go. I was still somewhat reserved, but I flourished in college. I was president of my sorority, active in many organizations, a friend to all, and a well-respected and liked person. I was excited to start a path to my adult life. With leading, came confidence. The confidence that I yearned for for all my elementary and high school days but just could never grasp.

Why do I bring this up?

Because I worry if I am instilling the basics in my son to be that confident person. To nudge him ahead of the curve. To place the building blocks EARLY to enable him to do better in his schoolwork and activities.
Don’t we all want our children to be better and do better than ourselves?

The question is how. How to walk the fine line between ruining your child’s self-esteem, and over-inflating their ego. We all know how bad it can go wrong if you swing too far to either side of the pendulum.

I figure my role as parent is to constantly straddle that line.

Encouraging studies, and participation in activities. Letting a little independence into his spirit, while remaining protective. Letting him know it’s okay to fail, and the best lessons come from those failures. Giving him the tools to succeed, but more importantly to KNOW he can succeed.

Or perhaps it really is as easy as Woody Allen declares….

“Seventy percent of success in life is showing up.”

It’s the other thirty percent that is the wild card.

This post, authored by me, originally appeared on the New Jersey Moms Blog on March 28th, 2009. It still remains one of my favorites.

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Class is in Session

While my latest blog post is still brewing in my head, I wanted to let you all know where I’ve been spending my time over the last week.

As I prepare for another school year with my son, I have two timely posts on this theme:

Click over to my review blog to read my latest book review from one of my favorite authors, Phillip Done. Phil is a third-grade teacher, and his newest book was just published, “Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind- Thoughts on Teacherhood” is required reading for the start of this new school year.

Also check out my latest New Jersey Moms post, “The Lost Art of Handwriting”, where I pine over the potential extinction of handwriting in today’s cyber-charged world. I may be a blogger and technology geek in my day job, but I often love to abandon my keyboard for a pen and paper. Is handwriting going the way of the dinosaur?

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It’s Friday, and I’ve had a long week at work, so forgive me for these most random thoughts.

I don’t know if I mentioned it here (I did a few weeks ago over here), but I started W.eight W.atchers again. I cashed in on my head start (being sick after the holiday), and went into serious detox mode. Lost 5 pounds on my own, and another 8 since. My quick goal before starting my DE cycle was to drop as much weight as I could, and basically get myself to a healthier place.

To my surprise, I’ve been hanging in there. And after two weeks of hard-core detoxing, I must report I am feeling wonderful. My energy is back again! It’s as is I flipped a light switch. Who knew? It was just the right time, and the right place of mind for me to do this. I am eating foods I never would have touched before. It seems a radical approach, BUT it is working for me right now.

David is having a great time @ basketball. The first practice was, well, hard for him. He seriously needed some help dribbling. But one basketball purchase later from T.arget, (and some practice time in with his Mom the “former teen basketball queen”), he is doing a lot better and loving the game. He especially loves the warm-ups (as evidenced to the right>>>>)

Also, I’ve been obsessing over something that is driving me crazy lately, and it has nothing to do with infertility (surprise!). It’s my anonymity as a blogger. I am slowly coming to grips that some people might find me on the web whether I want them to or not. Either that or I need to drop every social networking tool. lol. Check out my latest post on New Jersey Moms Blog )and you’ll read what I’m talking about.

Last but not least, next week I should hear something (in the form of a schedule) from the RE on the donor. She has an appointment on Tuesday to get the ball rolling.

That’s it from here! Have a great weekend friends!

Invest in Education has partnered with my fellow contributors to the Silicon Valley Moms Blogs this month to run the Blogger Challenge. Last year they helped 75,000 kids get needed supplies. Now that all of us bloggers are on the case, I know we can help even more kids.

The premise behind is simple and effective. Teachers request what they need and write a description of how the item will benefit the children. Some of the requests are basic, others to enhance the education environment in a creative way. Trust me, you’ll be bowled over as you read though the many requests.

You choose how much you want to contribute. Your money goes directly to the classroom/project of your choice.

So please, if you have a moment click though this link and contribute during the month of October. And know you made a child smile and a teacher very, very happy.

Take a look at the widget in my sidebar. This widget keeps track of every donation that goes though our link. Use the link directly above, or click through via the link in the sidebar. Watch it grow!