Humility makes her feel significant.
I know it sounds like an oxymoron to say that humility will make your daughter feel more significant, but here’s why it’s true. To fulfill her potential, your daughter needs to understand who she is, where she comes from, and where she’s going. And her understanding needs to be accurate.
Perhaps she has a talent for music. Perhaps she is smart or athletic. Like any enthusiastic parent, you are proud of her accomplishments. You pour money and time into her talents to strengthen them. You cheer for her at spelling bees, piano recitals, or basketball games.
Your support and encouragement are important. But you need to be careful too. If all you do is bolster her self-esteem with applause, she’ll eventually see through that, and she’ll wind up feeling frustrated. If she -doesn’t understand the virtue of humility, she’ll start looking in the wrong places to try to feel better about herself.
Humility is seeing ourselves honestly. It keeps us in the real world. Because we want our daughters to excel at everything they do, to be prettier, smarter, better than everyone else, we can confuse our priorities—and theirs.
Our daughters – don’t need excessive praise to feel good about themselves. Deep inside, your daughter knows she’s good at some things and not very good at other things. She often views her talents more realistically than her parents do, and the harder her parents push the praise button, the more she questions herself: Is this the reason my parents love me so much? Am I worth more to my dad if I play the violin better?
Another problem is self-centeredness. When family activities revolve around what we believe our kids “need” or “want” in order to feel better about themselves, we drive them to become self-centered. Many times girls gain a sense of superiority over their peers when they excel at something. And when this happens, they can become isolated from friends, peers, and family. Competitiveness creeps in. Their sense of superiority makes their world small and self-contained. They find no joy in what’s around them. They focus on success, not on friends.
The writer Henry Fairlie was right to remark, “Pride excites us to take too much pleasure in ourselves, does not encourage us to take pleasure in our humanity, and what is commonly shared by all of us as social beings.”