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Toddler Confidence

| October 15, 2014 | 10 Comments

I had a moment a few weeks back with my toddler that I’ve been mulling over, off and on, ever since.

Here it is. I’m getting better with social media and realized at the time it might be Tweet-worthy:

She said it with such complete assurance that I couldn’t help but stop and wish for that kind of confidence.

Then, last weekend we were at my parents for family dinner, when, after a diaper change, she decided to do this in front of the mirror:

Mirror, mirror on the wall; There is simply no question; I am the most awesome of all!

Mirror, mirror on the wall, there is simply no question I am the most awesome of all!

I know that she is demonstrating pure developmental age and stage here. Heck, with the exception of maybe snapping the above spread a half-year earlier, I’m not sure I could have planned a better photo shoot to demonstrate my kid “getting” the mirror test.

Yeah. That’s her.

She gets it.

She’s at that lovely, still pretty much un-selfconscious stage where she loves herself, her image, and everything she does. And she assumes everyone else is equally a member of the cult of her.

Everyone is her friend. She says hello and offers smiles to any stranger (except mall Santas).

And because she is generally rewarded in kind, this concept of her world works.

I remember when my eldest – now five – lost this assurance.

When she realized everyone wasn’t her friend.

It was preschool. She was almost three. And I’m pretty sure I know the kid to blame, or thank, for this specific transition.

Because don’t get me wrong.

I didn’t love her leaving this stage, but figuring out that everybody doesn’t love you is an equally important milestone for kids. Beyond the obvious security implications, embarrassment or shyness about how you perceive the perspectives of others shows appreciation for their feelings – which is good. And, as the trusty reminds me, it also serves as an early warning system for when you are doing or saying something that might get you in social trouble.

However, even with that understood, I still wish to encourage individuality and confidence in my children.

With that goal in mind, I was recently buoyed by my eldest’s choice in Halloween costume.

It has been consistent since August. She wants to be Wonder Woman.

So a couple of weeks ago we hit the new Monster Halloween location on St. Laurent and special ordered one in her size.

It arrived last week and she’s been wearing it at any and every opportunity since.

You know: grocery shopping; Economic Club Luncheons; the works.

We went out October 3 to watch the Carleton Conspiracy Band – Carleton University’s marching band – as they went from Carleton, up Sunnyside and down Bank to promote Throwback Weekend. We caught up to them in front of the church at Bank and Aylmer.

She asked if she could wear her Wonder Woman costume for the “parade”.

When we found the band, I asked if she wanted to meet Rodney the Raven – Carleton’s mascot.

She initially declined. Because, shy.

Then I suggested Rodney might want to meet Wonder Woman.

Well! Anything for a fan…


Two superheros: catching up on superhero business.

As we walked back to the car any number of people walking to the RedBlacks game that night at Lansdowne exclaimed “Hey! It’s Wonder Woman!” or said hello. My preschooler waved like a rock star and had a confident strut I adored and hope at some stage she connects with not requiring a costume.

All that to say? My past month in toddler-preschool-land has left me with the belief that we’d all be better off if we channeled a bit of toddler confidence.

Louise Hayes

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Category: Babies & Toddlers, Family, Living, Moms

About the Author ()

Louise lives in Alta Vista with her husband and their two daughters: ages four and two. She works full-time for the Federal Government. She's a former competitive swimmer, enjoys running for fitness, is trying to enjoy cooking and is actively involved in the Carleton University Alumni Association. She likes to write, so: blog hobby. You can visit her blog at Author's website.

Comments (10)

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  1. Lian says:

    Hey Louise! I love that your eldest feels empowered by the Wonder Woman costume! I’m happy she rocked it at Lansdowne with the Ravens (Go Ravens!) It is sad when kids loose that sense of innocence. My kids (even my teenager) still loves looking in the mirror at themselves, yet shy away from strangers.

    • Louise says:

      I just love how completely unselfconscious young children are and remember feeling a bit sad when that changed for my eldest. I hadn’t really been thinking of it from a teen perspective (that feels like eons off for me at this stage), although I do remember hours in front of the mirror at that stage and shyness in person. I think my hope for my girls is that they maintain self-assurance as they grow up and that I can help encourage them in positive ways.

  2. Maria Medeiros says:

    What a beautiful blog post! How sweet and beautiful! It’s so important for children to feel empowered and confident.

    • Louise says:

      Thanks so much for the kind comment Maria. I completely agree and hope I can find ways to keep encouraging confidence as they get older and – I know – it gets harder.

  3. Victoria Ess says:

    I’m so inspired by the idea of “toddler confidence.” I love that term! I wish we could all hold on to it, or foster it a little more.

    • Louise says:

      Thanks Victoria! Every now and then in the past month when I’ve felt I needed a bit of a push, I honestly thought about my toddler’s “I love me” moment and how simple it seems for her to be confident and it’s helped.

  4. kathy downey says:

    The photos of her in the mirror are priceless.We have to start building , confidence and acceptance at a very early age.They will embrace it as they grow

    • Louise says:

      I really hope that’s what happens – ie: that they will continue to feel confident as they get older if they are encouraged and made to feel secure about themselves when they are younger. Thanks so much for the comment.

  5. Stephanie LaPlante says:

    If only we kept that confidence forever. My God how precious & perfect children are.

  6. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    I just loved reading about Wonder Woman, she loves that costume and it does give her a lot of confidence. It’s a wonderful innocence that children have – being able to believe that a costume does actually make them into someone else. Give Wonder Woman a hug from me 🙂

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