Being told you won’t be able to do that, for some children makes them even more determined to prove their parents wrong, whilst for others it only serves to enforce feelings of limited self-worth and confidence, particularly if they already have low self-esteem.
There are also parents who believe their children can do what they set their minds to, but in order to test their children’s resilience, the parent says they can’t. The more the parent says they can’t, the more the child is determined to succeed, initially to prove their parents wrong.
When my daughter was 2 years and 10 months old, she was playing outside in the front garden and asked for her stabilisers to be taken off her bike so she could ride freestyle. My first thought was you’re too young, you’re not ready, you’ll fall off, but she began to insist.
Having been told by us that she would probably fall, she defied all logic and still continued to insist and although she knew we weren’t happy for her to ride freestyle, she started to mount her bike, insisting that her stabilisers be taken off. We took her stabilisers came off, but our logic as parents was that a child that is only 2 years and 10 months old, wouldn’t be ready to ride a bike without the help of stabilisers.
She proved us wrong. Within minutes she was peddling without stabilisers, completely balanced with no problems at all. Some children have the confidence to try and already know their strengths, whilst other children don’t always have the confidence, or perhaps it’s the parents who are a little over-protective and fail to encourage and stop their children having a go.
In my case, my daughter was confident enough to know she could ride unaided. It was us who had the doubts, given her age.