The Difference Between Confidence and Arrogance!

Parents don’t set out to raise arrogant children, but it does happen. Arrogant children are generally intelligent and confident, to a fault. Since these children are usually very bright, parents and other adults may find it cute when very young children reply with a sarcastic remark. Unfortunately, arrogant children may grow into egotistical, self-centered adults.

It is important for parents and other adults to distinguish between the child and the child’s behavior. It is the behavior that is labeled as arrogant, not the child. Parents may inadvertently encourage this type of behavior without even realizing it. Arrogant children are often viewed as rude and disrespectful. They have such an inflated perception of themselves that they feel superior to other children and in some cases, even adults. They are outspoken and boastful. These children will brag about themselves and their achievements. They often excel in one area such as sports but may view themselves as excelling in every area. They will interrupt adult conversations and correct what others say. Arrogant children may even question the knowledge of teachers in the classroom.

Arrogant children need to be the center of attention. They tend to be jealous of others and view peers as being jealous of them. Arrogant children lean toward narcissistic tendencies. These children are often rude to their parents and other adults. They generally don’t get along well with other children and in some cases, they may have a general dislike for people. These children can be disruptive, argumentative and their behavior can be challenging.

Parents that observe arrogant behavior in the children need to curb the tendency right away or seek help from a professional. Arrogant children often grow up to be children difficult people for others to be around. They may have difficulty in sustaining healthy friendships and relationships.

So what can parents do to help the arrogant child? The first step is to realize that children are not born with an arrogant attitude. Arrogance is a developed trait that is born from confidence and grows into a negative characteristic. Parents sometimes become too prideful of their children especially if the child is talented or very bright. However, their constant praise and boastfulness can give the child a distorted image of himself. Parents should not ignore arrogant behavior in children. It is good to praise children but praise needs to be done so with balance. Praise children for positive behavior and improvement but not in a boastful manner.

Parents should also examine their own behavior and attitudes in a completely honest way. If parents behave in a prideful manner they may unconsciously influence the behavior of their children. Parents should address arrogant behavior when they notice their child acting in a selfish or prideful way. Parents should have a talk with the child explaining why the behavior is unhealthy and help the child find positive ways of interacting with others and expressing himself. It is important for children to realize that everyone has strengths and weaknesses and that it is perfectly normal to not be perfect.

Parents should also teach kids to compliment others and be helpful to family and friends, in an effort to take the child’s sole focus off of himself. Parents may encourage selfless behavior by involving the child in group or team activities and teaching the importance of working together. An arrogant attitude may also be a way of compensating for feelings of inadequacy. Parents that have a negative attitude or are unduly negative of their children may prompt feelings of inferiority in children. The children may develop a superiority complex in an attempt to compensate for feeling inferior. The parents of an arrogant child need to examine why the child behaves in this way? Arrogance is a learned behavior so where is the child learning this behavior? Talk to the child and try to find out why he feels he is superior. Children may feel that their arrogant behavior is a way to gain their parents’ approval. Parents may also misinterpret a child’s arrogant behavior as self-esteem. Determine the source of the child’s arrogant behavior then reinforce positive behavior traits such selflessness and humility. Children gain a sense of pride by accomplishing a task they enjoy. Parents should avoid bribing or rewarding children efforts.  Parents should stress the fact that they will always love their child whether they win or lose. They should emphasize unconditional love of the child, not his abilities or talents.

True confidence is a feeling of inner security. Confident people do not feel the need to compare themselves to others or to belittle the accomplishments of anyone else. Raise children with secure confidence tempered by humbleness, and they will be well-adjusted adults.

About Marion Witte

Marion Witte was born and raised on a farm on the prairies of North Dakota. It was there that she acquired her Midwestern work ethic and her philosophy of helping others. Marion enjoyed a successful career as an entrepreneur, and upon selling her various business interests she began pursuing a life of philanthropy. She is passionate and outspoken about the need for radical changes in the way we view children and parenting. Her memoir “Little Madhouse on the Prairie” relays the story of her life, and it is the basis of her commitment to this work. She founded and manages the Angel Heart Foundation and its sister organizations “Next Generation Parenting” and “Brave New Leaders.”

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