The Plague of Misguided Confidence

“With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.”
Dalai Lama (Head of the Dge-lugs-pa order of Tibetan Buddhists, 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, b.1935)

There is a troubling plague that has been running rampant throughout America for years now and it’s truly driving me insane.

Ebola?  Smallpox? Aids? Avian Flu? Swine Flu?   Nope, the plague is called; MISGUIDED CONFIDENCE.

Since you asked, the Plague of Misguided Confidence is really very simple to explain.  It’s a plague that was started and continues to be perpetuated by PARENTS.

It happens when parents are too scared to tell their children when they suck at something.

For example, all those kids on the first couple episodes of American Idol who can’t sing, but think they can= MISGUIDED CONFIDENCE.

For example, all those pageant kids who aren’t cute and have shitty attitudes= MISGUIDED CONFIDENCE.

Worst American Idol Auditions

Life is a zero-sum game, which means that there are winners and losers.  It’s better to be honest and realistic with your children than to support them with misguided confidence. 

I’m not suggesting that you actually tell them they suck, but maybe encourage them to do something other than singing if they sound like a pack of wolves fucking by the moonlight when they try to sing Lady Gaga at their fifth grade talent show.

Teach your kid that failing sometimes is alright. Teach your kids that they aren’t the best at everything they do, it’s alright. Teach your kids that a little humility in life is a good thing.  This will help your children.

Misguided confidence is a horrible thing to instill in your child’s brain, absolutely horrible.

I’m sorry Mr. Lama, but the world would be better if parents could teach their children some reality.  It will save them embarrassment, heartache and failed expectations.

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One thought on “The Plague of Misguided Confidence

  1. I don’t see why the Dalai Lama’s quote and what you are suggesting can’t go hand in hand. Reality is good. Encouraging kids to do something they are terrible at by telling them falsely they are great doesn’t do them any favors, true. But! It is also good to encourage people to reach for the stars and dream a little. The dreamers are the ones that actually end up making the big bucks. They think they can, and so they do. That’s reality, too. Hell, not all dreams have anything to do with bucks, either. If the kids want to be the first on their block to build a puppet stage and do backyard puppet theater for fun, let ’em. Encourage them. If they want to run a 10k, encourage them. (In this case, perhaps even if they ARE terrible at it. Physical exercise is always good.)

    I think there is a fine line between letting kids experience failure and reality, and stomping on their dreams or beating them down. It is far to easy to have it turn into a “you’re shitty” fest. Too many kids get verbally beaten down as it is. I hear it all the time. It makes me sad. Words can hurt worse than anything,

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