Confident vs Cocky
Parker… you’re a hoot.
You’ve been having some problems at recess, and you are learning to work your way through conflict resolution. You have played kickball almost all year, but recently, some of the participants have neglected the rules, and it angered you. You decided to leave that activity for good, and start another daily game. You brought your soccer ball, and the first day it was just you and a friend kicking it around. Within a few days, it was you and about 12 other boys.
All was well….for a while….pretty soon, those participants began to neglect the rules too. Specifically, they were slide tackling each other and you. This did not sit well with you, and you found yourself in the midst of several screaming fights.
I talked to you about the fact that you play on a competitive club, and receive a higher level of training. Most of these boys play rec, and maybe not even at all. We talked about how to teach others and how to be patient as they learned. We talked about how to lower your expectations….these recess games aren’t going to be as intense and organized and strategic as your normal games.
Well, you got so fed up with the slide tackling, that you decided to stop bringing your ball. All of the kids were mad at you, and one in particular began to be very vocally and physically aggressive. He said he was going to beat you up, and even pushed you after school yesterday. You pushed him back and challenged him to a dual of sorts.
“Me vs You. 1 on 1. I’ll show you who knows what about soccer.”
I tried to talk you out of it. I tried to tell you the best way to deal with someone who is aggressive is to ignore them and not to give them the attention they are seeking. I even prayed with you before you left for school today and on the way to school I talked to you about loving your enemies.
Well at 1:00 this afternoon, I could think of nothing else. I knew this was your recess time and my heart was pounding non-stop.
Finally when you got home at 2:15 you told me the story…
“Well, we versed 1 on 1. I was beating him 11-1, and then I felt sorry for him, so I forfeited so he could win.”
“What did he do?”
“He walked away sad and then I felt really bad.”
Aye. So, you dealt with the bully by shutting him up, but then you felt bad because you made him feel bad. I’m trying to teach you to be confident without being cocky. Such a fine line.