" I can tell you, having grown up in South Yorkshire, in Rotherham, and been to a comprehensive school, I've never felt socially inferior to anybody. And I have met most of the kings, presidents, queens and princes of the world."
Being a fellow Brit I was incredulous that Mr Hague hadn't ever felt any of the subtle slights on the British class system or recognised, and felt either included or excluded, by the symbols of social class. He is either incredibly thick skinned and not very emotionally intelligent or his parents gave him the most astoundingly assured self-confidence known to man.
As a mother of small children it intrigues me how you can bring up a child of such great confidence, who has achieved so much success, without the benefits of an education in the notorious British Public School system - through which parents seem to pay for their children to be indoctrinated with confidence by members of the teaching profession (think Tony Blair, David Cameron, Prince William).
|From 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett|
For me reading the novel 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett was a seminal moment in my philosophy on parenting. I think it contains some very, very wise words which are reiterated constantly to a little girl in the novel: "You is kind. You is clever. You is important." I don't know if it was because I was reading this book as I was breast-feeding my first child that these words had such an impact on me, but their sentiment, of impressing upon my children their own self-worth, has stuck with me every day since.
This affirmation of a child's worth from such a young age can do nothing but build confidence from the ground up as the child grows. Along with this constant refrain, helping and encouraging children through difficult tasks until they can complete them can only give them the confidence that they are capable of anything to which they choose to turn their hands, or minds.
I don't specifically want to bring my children up to be future Foreign Secretaries. However, it would be good to think that they had the confidence to put themselves forward for anything, never feeling inadequate in any way. What a gift that would be to give a child.
How do you try to instil confidence in your children? Do you have any advice that has been proved through experience? What do you think of what William Hague said? I'd love to hear your stories.