I had been baffled with the attitude of my son’s friend. He’s just a boy, of course. A boy who doesn’t speak nor understand my language. But then again, most boys take it well when I try to speak to them in Korean or give them signals about the things I want to tell them. And I firmly believe that RESPECT knows no language. Respect is universal.
Hubby and I try very much to let the kids grow with confidence but careful enough to immediately cut any horn of disrespect that may be showing at some point in time. of course, they’re kids and we can’t claim to have perfectly respectful kids. They have tantrums, they have moods. They’re kids! But generally, they are mild-mannered and respectful.
The mom of this boy is so proud that they are bringing up their kid to be a very confident kid. Amen to that. But in time, I see that the confidence that I am seeing is almost always manifested in grabbing toys from other kids, shouting at other ajummas who did something he dislikes (I ran over my hand on his hair once as an expression of fondness and voila! he shouted at me), shouting at his mom for whatever reason, shoving other kids to get what he wants, cheating in games to always win. Of course, he is not that all the time. He could be caring when he wants to. He is a very energetic playmate, just what my Firstborn likes his playmates to be.
I just don’t happen to define confidence in those terms. Confidence should be within the bounds of being respectful. When your confidence goes beyond being respectful, it’s arrogance. And if you start ’em young, it will be harder to control as they grow older. Oh well, to each his own… each of us have our own parenting styles. And part of parenting is choosing friends for our kids… and limiting his play time with that particular friend. And I could do just that!