She’s #1

Is it possible for a four year old to be considered cocky? At what age does innocent childhood self-confidence cross the line into narcisism?

I pondered these questions as my daughter was watching cartoons this morning. I wasn’t paying enough attention to grasp the context, but at some point Mickey Mouse was asking his viewers if they thought they were smart enough to complete whatever task was at hand. Alaina was borderline insulted by the question. “I’m the smartest out of everybody, right Dad?” I mumbled something noncommital about her being very smart and reminded her to keep working on her sliced apple pieces.

Not long after she was playing with her barbies and Team Umizoomi was on in the background. Apparently it was UmiCar’s birthday and over the course of the party the other characters were telling him that he was “the best.” This pissed her off to a troubling degree. She was “the best” and it was completely ludicrous that anybody else would have the audacity to claim otherwise. I decided it may be time to sit her down for a talk.

Alaina has always been very competitive. Any race that she can’t win she wants to at least end in a tie. She spent a lot of time this summer racing imaginary friends around the pool so that she was guaranteed a win. If another car passes us on the highway I get admonished for driving too slow. The fact that her sixteen year old sister is allowed to do things that she isn’t has been a constant source of aggravation.

Self-confidence and a desire to win are very important, but so are sportsmanship and getting along with others. She’s reaching the age where people aren’t going to appreciate being told that she is better than them. I want a strong, self-assured little girl, but the line between that and a stuck up little brat needs to be identified and steps taken to ensure we don’t cross it.

So we had our talk about how she’s probably not going to always be the best at everything that she does. About how she needs to be OK with that. I gave her some tricks I’ve learned for hiding from people the fact that you think you’re better than them.

I’m not sure how much she was listening. It’s possible that she thought I was kidding around. It’s still cute that she thinks the plumber was here just to see her and it can be great playing the “lets see who can be quietest the longest” game. She always makes sure that she wins.






31 thoughts on “She’s #1”

  1. That’s cute:) Developmentally speaking, this is normal as most small children think the world revolves around them. It’s not really meant to be narcissistic in any way but I understand what you mean as I had to do the same with my youngest when he was about five. I know it was normal but at the same time I don’t want my kid growing up feeling like he’s entitled or that he is better than anyone so I sat him down too and I still remind him from time to time. It’s getting through. Great post!

  2. I don’t want our little boy being a spoilt brat either, it’s important they understand that they won’t be the best all the time & that’s ok. Hope some of your chat sunk in. Popping over from weekend blog share

  3. So hard to find the balance between giving them confidence and turning them into right little whatmits. Hopefully your talks and your example will do the trick. #weekendblogshare

  4. Hmmm, a tricky one that. A very interesting read. As a mum to an almost four year old, I want to encourage her to be the best she can be and to aim high, but you’re right. How do you stop it from slipping over into arrogance? As a teacher, we positively encourage our pupils to aim high and push boundaries. But again, it’s about getting the balance right. I think I am better at it as a teacher rather than as a mum. #twinklytuesday

  5. Interesting read! Isn’t it funny the things we have to make a specific effort to teach our children about?!
    Little Miss A is a couple of years younger than Alaina, so I’m sure we have this to look forward to. Right now we’re dealing with everything being “Mine!” 😀

  6. My 3 year old is just the same!! It must be a stage they go through! EVERYTHING is a competition! If she eats her dinner first, “I win!!”, if she gets dressed first, “I win!!”, if she goes to bed first….oh wait, no….apparently the rules don’t apply then!!! #momsterslink

    1. I confess we’ve used it to get her to eat faster. There are some benefits. Alaina will race up the stairs to go to bed, just not actually into the bed.

  7. I sometimes wonder how to handle this sort of thing too, of course I want my son to be confident but not too over confident, I like your thoughts on it and I hope that I’ll be able to portray that too. Thanks for linking up #bestandworst X

    1. It feels weird telling her that others are sometimes going to be better at stuff than her. When do they need to start realizing this? I don’t know

  8. It is lovely that she has so much self-confidence and the drive to want to do well but you’re right, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance and although she’s too young to have crossed it yet, it is good to try and help her find the balance if you can. I like the sound of the who can be quietest the longest game! Thanks for linking up to #ftmob 🙂

  9. I was nodding my head in agreement to all of this. My son is very confident, competitive and bossy! However he has never mastered the who can stay quiet the longest game. His record breaking attempt lasted a whole 7 seconds. The boy never stops talking! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

  10. My husband is a narcissist. Like to the full extent. There’s a fine line between being confident and being narcissist. People don’t like narcissist…but adore confidence. It’s kind of like a catch 22. I am trying to raise my kids on the fine line. Thanks for sharing with #momsterslink.

  11. Do you know what… all it shows me is that your daughter is happy confident and that you’re obviously doing a good job in raising her. Let her be the best version of herself and keep doing what you’re doing. Thank you so much for linking up to #SundayStars xxx

  12. I think its great she’s so confident in what she’s going my daughters often say things like this and I just say ah yes and so modest about it they have no idea what I mean but they will one day. Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.