Confidence Begins in Childhood

Introduction: This is a short essay, written by my niece, for a composition class she is taking in her first year of college. She got an “A” for it. When my sister gave it to me to read I thought that the lesson it contained was well worth sharing with our readers, especially our young readers. So many phobias and constricting inhibitions originate in childhood years. Parents ought to be alert to this. It’s part of loving your children.
Brian Kelly

By Lauren Madrigal


Lauren Madrigal

There are a number of children in the world today who have a difficult time finding confidence and self-assurance. They lack the knowledge and experiences they need to help them search within themselves to find that confidence. They are seeing the world only from behind a glass window. Television and video games limit the imagination instead of endlessly expanding it. Thoughts are being put in their heads instead of figuring things out for themselves. They need something more to open their minds and widen their horizons. Some kind of art or music in a child’s life has a positive effect on the kind of adult they become. It is such a good tool in building self-confidence, a sense of humility, and in giving the world the creativity it needs to grow in awareness and knowledge.

When a child is painting a picture or learning a song, instead of looking at the picture or listening to the music, look into his or her eyes. What you will see is complete focus and vigorous concentration; you may also see some sort of awe, surprise, or maybe even disgust. These are all feelings and emotions being created by the child himself. They are getting the chance to express themselves and build character and personality. Their curiosity forces each stroke or every note as something that originated from within becomes public. Their self-confidence becomes stronger and stronger. Soon they get a grasp on everything they are capable of accomplishing.

Art in schools supports children who are challenged by learning. When children realize they aren’t perfect at everything, they get a sense of humility. Humility is a human attribute that is essential in a strong-minded person. Almost everything in life takes practice to make perfect. There’s no denying it. Also, if a child has art in his school day, he has something to look forward to, especially if he is struggling in another class or even with friends. He can enter a judgment-free zone where there will never be a wrong answer.

Fred Rogers wrote songs from the time he was a child. His favorite was called “Children Can.” One of the song’s lines goes: “You’re a child so you can do it. Children do it all life long.” Author Jack Lawrence wrote of Rogers: “His songbooks for children became part of their growing up process at that special time in their formative years.” Deep down, every adult wishes to be able to think like a child. They look at life in the simplest way. They can paint a basic picture or write a plain song, and yet they still captivate more hearts than any adult can dream of. If they find their creativity during childhood they will be capable of offering the world the inspiration it needs to grow in awareness and knowledge in the future.

What we learn in our childhood adheres with us for the rest of our lives. What sticks even more, however, is how we learned. When children discover the beauty in art and music, it contributes to their altruism and keeps them selfless. If they try to hide their feelings and keep their emotions inside they are in danger of having a life full of apathy and seclusion. It is our duty to teach them to paint a picture; it doesn’t have to be spectacular. Or maybe even write a song; it doesn’t have to make sense. Urge them to keep their minds wide open to their horizons and they really will learn something new every day, not just about the world, but about themselves.

Works Cited:

Coles, Robert (1997). The Moral Intelligence of Children. New York: Random House, Inc.

Lawrence, Jack (2008, Fall). Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Sheet Music, 3-7, 45.

Peltason, Ruth A. (Ed.). (1999). Children Revealed: Art Expressing Pain, Discovery, and Hope. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.