A Former Nanny Shares the One Quality That Makes Kids Happy, Successful Adults

Confidence: The "belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance: His lack of confidence defeated him."

As I was working on this piece, I informally asked my friends (and some strangers) how important it is for kids to land on the other side of childhood with self-confidence—or how high up it should be on a parent's list of qualities to instill. Most, if not all, were wary. What does an emphasis on confidence yield, if not arrogance and entitlement? As adults, we might suppose that over-confidence, bread by codling and praise, gets in the way of certain strains of success and happiness later on. Others may see the value in confidence but believe "you either have it or you don't," making it a waste of energy to nurture. Well, maybe we've forgotten what healthy confidence actually looks like, where it comes from, and why we need it.

Confidence doesn't necessarily mean the opposite of being shy or modest, nor is it about self-importance. It's about integrity and resilience and measuring yourself against only yourself; it's about wanting to know yourself and not always falling in love with what you find right off the bat, but being honest about who you are and growing from those shortcomings, really sitting with them, and weighing their price, and later, their reward. Sure, this all sounds very "me, me, me," and it does buoy you up in the most vulnerable and private moments, but that's because it has nothing to do with extrinsic motivation and superficial perceptions. The truth is that people with confidence have a positive effect on the world because they believe in themselves and their potential more than they believe in fitting in.

And you definitely don't have to be born with it (just think how far you've come since middle school). So now that we've identified the need to nurture confidence from a young age, we asked professional child caretaker Florence Ann Romano how to raise a confident kid. Read through the tips and ideas below on how to nurture confidence from a young age.