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Why the award my daughter received at camp made me pause

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Today I picked up Carter Mae, my 7 year-old, from camp. She handed me a camp award that she received.

(I guess everyone got a specific character award).

When she threw hers to me, she was kind of like, eh, here’s my award; with no excitement or pride attached. Usually my very excitable, conversational girl who loves a good accolade would be so pumped for an award, but this one, not so much.

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It said:

Presented to Carter Mae Hayes for being the MOST CONFIDENT.

She wasn’t impressed with it, and quite honestly my first reaction was,

“Wait, is that even a compliment, or was she too bossy or too much? Who gives out a confidence award?"

Is it the award that is like a backhanded compliment?

And then in the next breath, I came to my senses. I absolutely want my girl to get an award for being confident. Am I not in the business of raising a child who is completely confident in who she is, accepts exactly who she was made to be with purpose?

Do I want her to think she is perfect?

No.

Do I want her to walk confidently in who she is, flaws and all?

100%.

After I got in the car with her, I let her know that this is an incredible award.

Confidence means you KNOW who you are, and WHOSE you are. To start knowing this in the little years and keeping that truth as she grows older is exactly what I want her to put in her heart.

If she knows those two things, she is gonna be just fine. More than fine!

Who she is: kind, brave, smart, disciplined, fun, nurturing.

Whose you are is God’s girl!

And guess what, when you are confident in who you are, even in the flaws, the beauty, the everything, you get to inspire others to accept exactly who they are and help them live confidently in themselves. A friend of mine said, “A confident person makes me feel safe to be around”. So,Mom thinks you should be pretty excited about this award.

Afterwards it got me thinking, why was my first reaction, a reaction of shame? Hasn’t this been my reaction when someone has told me I am confident. I never say,

“Thank you”, I always say, “Oh gosh, I hope I don’t come across TOO confident”.

I immediately process this as a negative. I think maybe I am too much, or maybe I come off the wrong way and need to apologize for myself; instead of saying, “Thank you, I am working on accepting all the parts of me, thanks for helping me on my journey”.

Carter Mae’s award was a beautiful reminder for her mom to remember to

Know WHO I am and WHOSE I am and to remind others of the same thing along the way.

I hope she gets that award every year even if just to remind me to be an example to her.

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