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Saddleback College Self-confidence: Nature or Nurture Discussion

Saddleback College Self-confidence: Nature or Nurture Discussion

Question Description

There are six (6) Alternatives to Punishment listed in Faber, Chapter 3. Give specific, detailed explanations and words (what would the adult do and say) for each alternative for the three following situations (please use different explanations for each situation).

Please NUMBER the situations and the alternative in your discussion posting, so you will have situations #1, #2, and #3, with alternatives 1-6 listed for each.

Please respond to at least two classmates and post on at least two different days in order to qualify for the full amount of points possible.

The situations are:

1) A two-year-old is begging and whining for candy at the grocery store. You don’t want to give in but you also don’t want a full-blown tantrum in the middle of the store.

2) Your 5-year-old refuses to put away his toys…plopping down instead to watch T.V.

3) Your 10-year-old won’t do her homework. She says its too hard and she sulks around the house all afternoon making herself and everyone miserable.

Faber, Chapter 3

Be sure to make note of the “Alternatives to Punishment” in Chapter 3 of your Faber text. Of these, letting the child experience the natural consequences of her behavior” I have found to be most helpful. Of course you can’t do this if the matter is safety, but if for instance, if you have a child who battles you about wearing a coat, then let them not wear one, and when they complain about being cold you can tell them that it was their choice. It doesn’t take long for them to change their mind if they think it is their idea, but if you force it on them it just triggers resentment.

Lastly, an important piece of the child guidance puzzle is helping children develop self-confidence. Both the process and the end result go a long way in preventing feelings of helplessness, being overwhelmed, frustration, and resentment in young children.

Self-Confidence: Nature or Nurture?

Are you born with self-confidence?

Is self-confidence something that you’re born with or is it taught and developed? It’s the classic nature vs. nurture question. While current wisdom has been for some time that it’s mostly nurture, there’s some surprising new research that indicates we may genetically predisposed to be self confident.

Smart children on balance to do well in school. That may seem obvious, but there are a lot of exceptions to that rule. Some kids with high IQs don’t ever become academic superstars, while less gifted kids often shine.

Why? Psychologists have focused on things like self-esteem and self-confidence–how good children think they are–to explain these outcomes. And the assumption has always been that such psychological traits are shaped mostly by parenting–by parents’ beliefs and expectations and modeling. Researchers like Albert Bandura have argued that the initial efficacy experiences are centered in the family. But as the growing child’s social world rapidly expands, peers become increasingly important in children’s developing self-knowledge of their capabilities. So, until now, an individual’s self-confidence was seen to be based on upbringing and other environmental factors.

Related Articles

Behavorial geneticist Corina Greven of King’s College in London and her colleague, Robert Plomin of the Institute of Psychiatry, argue that self-confidence is more than a state of mind–but rather is a genetic predisposition. Their research, published in the June, 2009 issue of Psychological Science, is a rigorous analysis of the heritability of self-confidence and its relationship to IQ and performance.

They studied more than 3700 pairs of twins, both identical and fraternal twins, from age seven to age ten. Comparing genetically identical twins to non-identical siblings allows scientists to sort out the relative contributions of genes and the environment. Contrary to accepted wisdom, the researchers found that children’s self-confidence is heavily influenced by heredity–at least as much as IQ is. Indeed, as-yet-unidentified self-confidence genes appear to influence school performance independent of IQ genes, with shared environment having only a negligible influence.

The fact that self-confidence is heritable does not mean it is unchanging, of course. Siblings share a lot of influences living in basically the same home and community, but there are always worldly influences pulling them apart. A genetic legacy of self-confidence merely opens up many possible futures.

Greven and Plomin also found that children with a greater belief in their own abilities often performed better at school, even if they were actually less intelligent. They also concluded that same held true for athletes, with ability playing a lesser role than confidence.

So this study, supporting the nature argument for self-confidence should put the cat among the pigeons with coaches, psychologists, trainers and parenting experts, who have argued for some time that nurturing had the most significant influence on developing self-confidence.

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