I remember way back in the day when I helped a friend out with math lessons towards an exam, we had covered all the areas of study required for the exam and she had a good understanding of what needed to be done and I was sure she could pass the exams easily, but I never said it to her.
I set off to university before that exam and when I came back at the end of the semester, I learnt my friend had failed the exam. I asked what happened and she told me that she did understand what we studied really well, but somehow expected me to say it as it would have boosted her confidence for the exam.
Since then, I have been more generous with my affirmation to people I have taught or helped to understand one thing or the other. I also learnt that somehow people we have influence with silently crave our permission to do certain things, not because they need it to be effective, but somehow it lifts a lid on their ability to achieve more than they would have without it.
The onus therefore lies on us to ensure that those who trust us and look up to us in one way or the other, know very well that we are rooting for them and do expect them to be their best in whatever they decide to pursue. We should be generous with our affirmations to them and never hoard giving them permission where they have entrusted us with that privilege.