When my son was very young, I was grateful that he had a strong sense of self. Even when he seemed to be edging towards braggart, I felt it would serve him well at some point.
As he got older, his ego was sometimes greater than it needed to be. This bothered me. I’m talking about the teenage years, when you want to see some humility slip in from time to time. I know this is developmentally appropriate, but it really bugged me. I feared it would make it harder for him to learn from his mistakes if he refused to acknowledge that he made mistakes. He was not leaving room to learn from others, to learn from his “elders” (parents and teachers). He knew everything and everything was someone else’s fault.
He is now in college, and still has an ego of iron, which I think has finally served him well.
This weekend I drove several hours to watch him play lacrosse for his college team. His father and grandparents flew out from the east coast to watch him as well. His coach played him a total of 3minutes in game 1 and did not play him at all in game 2. This is ridiculous for a club team. Trust my knowledge of the sport when I tell you he should have been put in.
I was so angry that I almost cried. His father was furious, his grandparents disappointed. In talking with my son and his teammates later, they reported that they have many problems with the coach - one of those problems being he doesn’t play everyone. To make this even worse, my son and his teammates tell me the coach has it in for him. Even with this information, even with his own frustration, my son refused any help from his pissed mother or father. He firmly believes it is the coaches fault, and he will deal with it.
I went from feeling helpless to relieved. He is well protected by that huge ego of his. There will be no self doubt following that game that he did not play. And he will be correct in his belief that this is someone else’s fault. I may again feel frustrated at his lack of humility, but today I am grateful.