In Parenting Help, Parents' Coaching

Raising A Non- Boastful Child


Self-confidence, arrogance and being boastful are often confused with one another, while each has a very distinct meaning. A child will often pay very close attention to where their parent’s place value, adjusting their perception of self worth accordingly. If the parents are wise, they will temper their praise with encouragement that shows their children there is always room for improvement. Giving a child the false perception that they have already achieved perfection can lead to a very rude awakening for both.

Boastful Definition

A good boastful definition is taking great pride and self-satisfaction in one’s achievements to the point where they believe they are the best at what they do. Children who tend to boast about their own skill or achievements often do so because they are repeating what they have heard their parents say. To be boastful means to constantly be availing others of one’s personal achievements.

When it comes to children, many will boast about what they have or how good they are at a specific task. Many children do this simply as a way of gaining someone’s attention, mainly parents, teachers or other adults who they dearly wish to impress. Many children will work extremely hard to achieve a goal that others said they would not be able to reach. In this case, boasting or bragging may be a way showing others they were up to the challenge.

Children may also boast about their achievements because they want to be appreciated for all of their hard work. Most who do so for this reason, however, often don’t go to the extreme. For them, achieving the initial goal was only part of the success. Not only did they prove to themselves that they could accomplish the task, they proved it other others as well. When they reach this level, they realize they can go further and attain even higher goals and achievements. At this stage, boasting becomes more of a call of victory than a bullying tactic.

Skill vs. Luck

Small children who boast about learning a new skill or achieving a goal, do so because they are proud of themselves. Older children who constantly boast about their degree of skill often do so because they have been led to believe they are superior to their peers and should receive special treatment. All children do not do this, but those who do have more than likely been groomed by their parents to feel a certain superiority over others.

Young athletes are especially conditioned by parents and coaches alike to accentuate their skills and abilities. Many boast to their peers as well as taunt other athletes, claiming they are the best at their particular sport. While this kind of “trash talk” is common, it should never be overdone. The fact remains, that no matter how good a player is, they are not perfect and will eventually make a mistake.

Well rounded athlete knows and understand that their is always another level of skill to strive for. Practice is important to not only maintain their current level of ability, but to move forward and achieve higher goals. When athletes are trained to think in this fashion, they may boast for a short time about a specific achievement, but they also realize there is more work to be done. This also applies to academic students who are in constant search of new material to learn or new paths to discover.

Every athlete understands the concept of luck. No matter how good they may be, their opponent may be better. In cases where both opponents are evenly matched, the luck of the draw can be in either party’s favor. Learning to accept the fact that things just may not be going in their direction is a part of the game and should be accepted. Learning to accept defeat gracefully is another aspect of good sportsmanship.

The Dangers of Boasting

Children who constantly boast or herald their own achievements. They demand constant recognition and will do whatever they have to gain the admiration of others, including demeaning their opponents. This can eventually backfire if their numerous outbursts begin to offend others. Other students will begin to look for new and better ways to beat them at their own game.

Students who begin to believe they are superior to others often think they no longer have any room for improvement. This can lead to disaster if another student realizes they are not moving forward. While the boastful student is content resting on his or her laurels, other students may be working hard to raise their own skill level in the hopes of beating them at their own game.

Parents who notice their children boasting about their accomplishments should remind them the price of pride if others would ever choose to challenge them. Perfection is something that is continually sought but rarely achieved. There is always more to learn and discover. Honing a particular skill or talent can take several years. Taking for granted ones’ ability may eventually result in the deterioration of it. It is important for parents to encourage their children to always do their best and to try and learn new things, reminding them that they are no better or worse than other players.

Everyone Has Bad Days

While parents are encouraging their children to do their best, it is also very important for them to emphasize the everyone has bad days. No matter how skilled a child is at a specific sport or how knowledgeable in a certain subject, everyone will eventually make a mistake. Children who are led to believe that they are infallible will, at some point, be proven that they are just as human as everyone else.

For an overly boastful child, having a bad day can be devastating. It’s a quick reminder that they are not as perfect as they have led themselves to believe. Parents, teachers and mentors can help comfort them, but it is more important to have adequately prepared them for possible defeat. No win or victory is ever set in stone. Children who believe they will never be beaten are often extremely upset and can come off as a sore loser. This is often when children also show their inability to lose gracefully. Exhibiting poor sportsmanship is bad reflection on the student, his or her coach and parents.

The Benefits of Staying Humble

There are several benefits of teaching children humility. It is more than fine to be jubilant when a win is achieved, but remaining humble and congratulating an opponent on a job well done is the epitome of good sportsmanship and overall fair play. Children who exhibit these traits gain the respect of their opponents as well as their admiration. Staying humble is a delicate balance of self-confidence and the knowledge that there will always be room for improvement.

One of the benefits of staying humble is the willingness of others to recognize your achievements. Being proud of a victory that has been achieved through hard work, dedication and practice is normal and expected. A child or adult who is constantly proclaiming their own excellence may not get the recognition they deserve simply because they have offended others. If they are always doing their best and rarely expect any type of reward, others will take notice. It is then that their efforts will be most appreciated.

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