In my college Educational Psychology class, my professor mentioned two things that have stood out to me for the last seven years: 1) Children are geniuses until they’re five years old. Parents mess it up. 2) A child’s fears are learned behavior they pick up from their parents.
I want to expound on these. It does take a genius to take a blank canvas who learns to talk just from hearing words being spoken around them and be able to express one’s self with those same words and phrases. If you speak several languages to a child they can decipher on their own which language is which without any explanation. It’s difficult to do as an adult. Their world is nothing but observation that they mimic and form the bedrock of their own personalities. If you’re afraid of spiders and your kids see it, more than likely they will be afraid of spiders as well.
When it comes to Cydney, I do my best to not let her see the fearful side of me. I’m not afraid of much, but I have my moments. She rarely sees me sad, with a frown, or even moments of doubt. All she knows is daddy who smiles and handles all situations accordingly. In spite of hard times, handle and walk into all situations confidently. At this point, that’s all she knows. It’s paid off. Naturally, Cydney is a shy person. When I first regained custody of her, she used to hide behind my legs when people would say hi to her and interact. When she warmed up, she would come to life.
Nowadays, Cydney is still a little shy. However, she is much more inclined to speak first to people. It depends on her setting. If we are out and about at a store, she is hesitant to say hi back when someone speaks to her. When she is in a social setting, she will talk to any and everybody confidently and someone becomes the life of the party.
I like that Cydney is so confident. While she may be a little shy by nature, she pushes past that and it shows. People gravitate to confident and charismatic people. It insinuates that one is self-aware and that is a quality people spend their whole lives trying to reach. This comes from what she sees, she mimics. I want Cydney to be a better version of her mother and me. She has the rest of her life in which people will try to tear her down and damage her self-esteem. Even at the times that she is temporarily knocked down, it will not be for long. I think that is one of the top three most important things I can teach my child.