King's Business - 1966-04


Tom Develops Self- Confidence

by Gordon Chilvers

A h e a d m a s t e r of a large school with a lifetime’s experience was about to retire. He was asked: “What qualities does a child most need in this age ?” He replied: “ Self-confidence and poise so that he may meet the problems and tensions of life and not be overthrown by them.” But how does it come? “ Your Tom seems to have developed a splendid sense of confidence,” said Mrs. Johnson to her neighbour as they met. “ He is now ten years old, isn’t he? How did he get it?” she asked. The neighbour explained it this way: “ Yes, Tom is just ten. My husband and I have sought this for him ever since he was born. We have gone to a lot o f trouble in the training of our children. This has given Tom security and so his self-confidence has grown.” A child is most likely to develop rightly who is brought up in a truly Christian home, for that means a home that is secure. The child watches his parents and is influenced strongly by the way they act. He is most likely to feel assured when his parents have achieved poise and confidence both as individuals and as husband and wife. When he sees that they are not jumpy, nervous and highly strung he begins to share their peace and certainty. Further, at first he knows no means or measure

of security other than his father and mother so he takes without question his ideas of safety and relia­ bility from them. A Christian home is marked by routine as far as it is possible. Sudden a,nd violent changes can easily upset a child’s emotional stability. When he knows that no such changes will be made without their being necessary, one of his major uncertain­ ties has gone. Everything that the parent does and the way he does it; what he says and how he says it, whether gently or roughly, will affect the child. Even the firmness o f the mother’s touch and the way father opens or shuts a door will contribute to the well­ being and so to the child’s sense of security. A sympathetic and kind parent tries to take care o f all the physical and emotional needs of his child. Knowing that babies fear loud and sharp noises, he will try to prevent their needlessly dis­ turbing the child. As a fear o f falling is also promi­ nent in the child’s mind, father and mother will seek to avoid occasions for a fall. Even so, it is not isolation or over-sensitive par- ental protection that encourage the fullest secu­ rity. The over-protection o f a nervous parent who is so anxious to keep his child from the hard knocks he must learn to face a little later is not helpful.




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