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Confidence/Competence Barometer

July 15, 2017

CAMP LECTURE DAY 2

The Confidence/Competence Barometer

 

Confidence: How well you think you can do something

Competence: How well you can actually do something

 

 

At Chaos, in life, and in outer space, progress happens when these two things grow harmoniously together.

 

Too Much Confidence + little Competence = Jumping off a building onto concrete and breaking all your bones

Competence + Lack of confidence = Never reaching your potential

 

We want to strive for balance. I want a lack of competence to drive safety and learning. But a sense of developed confidence once you've worked to acquire new skills and ability.

 

What would be the fun of learning to become a pilot but never getting off the ground? And conversely, we don't want an over competent person who has never learned how to fly to say, "heck yes lets fly this bird!."

 

So how? How to we achieve this? Well parents are the first moderators of leveling out competence. But quite often, we are also strip away confidence without realizing that is what we are doing.

Quickly parents teach not to run in roads, you aren't stronger than a car. Don't do this don't do that, don't kill yourself, stop it. These teach competence boundaries.

But stepping in when the kiddo could do it on their own (even terribly) begins to teach: "I'm not capable. I'm not smart enough to figure it out. I'm not intelligent enough to think for myself." And this crushes confidence.

 

Unmanaged, children will learn a harmonious balance of confidence/competence. This a wild tendency. This grows great without weed eating, and without pesticides. Children seek this balance. We undo it. Society undoes it.

 

Now, stopping your child from jumping off roof at 4 is necessary. But you teach them how and where to jump to improve their competency in base jumping. You bring them to the couch with cushions. You teach them to roll. Because people can jump off roofs. But they have to be competent. Look for ways to smarty teach your child how to express their interests. No, punching concrete walls when angry isn't ok. Yes, learning to punch and developing technique, bone density, and years of practice will improve their punch though. It isn't about never helicoptering or always free ranging with your kid. It's about keeping yourself as a parent in check so they can learn to manage themselves.

 

Children can do this exceptionally quickly. Chaos kids, by the time they are 3 can autonomous manage themselves on obstacles. They know their ability range. They push, but not past their competency. I never have to save a little one from their own climbing choices.  Little by little their confidence increases along with that competency and soon they are at the top of the red wall, rig, and rock wall. But if parents interfere too much, children remain afraid. They socially infer that they must be doing something dangerous because while else would my mom look so scared? We tear down their confidence. Conversely, overly competitive parents who ridicule children into doing something outside of their competency zone leads kids to freaking out somewhere they otherwise wouldn't have been on their own.

 

We let kids make their own improvements, own failures, we let them own those success and failures equally. We encourage their hard work, their good attitude, their willingness to try. We let them try. This builds confidence.

 

We give them needed basic safety restrictions, but not leave them in bubbles. We show them ways to get to their end goals. We give them coaches or teachers or mentors to help. We look up videos, we take tutorials, we strip cushions off couches. We let them fail when the risk is small, so they can learn. This will build competency. 

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