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Worried about 4 yr old DDs defeatist attitude

(8 Posts)
MrsWattingerInDespair Thu 25-Nov-10 17:43:59

My DD is just 4 and is extremely defeatist in her attitude. I had thought it was just a phase but it doesn't seem to be passing and now I'm concerned.
Example : getting shoes on, if it doesn't work the first time she either throws the shoes in anger and says 'horrible shoes' grrr etc. Or will burst into tears of frustration and say things like 'I'm no good at shoes', 'I just can't do it, I'm never doing it again' etc. etc.
Same with many many practical things, cutting with scissors, scootering, drawing etc. She is bright but seems quite clumsy and despite practice and encouragement she still has problems.
She is very defeatist and she seems to genuinely have no patience with herself and seems down on herself / her abilities.
I was like this myself as a child and so I have really tried to be extra-encouraging to her to boost her confidence.
I can only imagine that I am to blame for her being this way. I really want to help her. But what else can I do/not do? If it's not my parenting is it her nature (nature/nurture??!).
She is the eldest of 3 and youngest is 5 months so we are qutie hectic at home with general chaos. Could this be the cause? Lack of one -to- one time?
Anyone have any suggestions? confused

fattybum Thu 25-Nov-10 17:52:07

have no advice but my ds1, also 4, is also like this. Just now he was calling himself stupid cos he was struggling to write his name. I was/am like this and its really upsetting watching them develop our worst traits.

MrsWattingerInDespair Fri 26-Nov-10 11:40:17

thanks fattybum
Just want to help her but don't know what to do.

acebaby Fri 26-Nov-10 20:44:34

I would take a slightly different approach, and really try to acknowledge your DC's feelings. So if your DD says 'I'm useless at putting on shoes' rather than saying 'no - you're brilliant at putting on shoes, have another go!' say 'shoes can be annoying can't they... I can see you're getting very cross' then either help or tell her to try again, in a matter of fact way. Also, find some little thing to do while she is trying again (my coat rack gets a lot of organization!), which emphasizes that you don't see her ability to put on shoes as a really big deal. Also, if you are 'busy' doing something else it won't look to her that you are choosing not to help.

Fattybum - when DS1 says things like this, I tend to say something along the lines of 'Oh dear. Are you cross with yourself for making a mistake?' then give him a quick cuddle and offer him the chance to do something else or have another go with or without help.

I got these ideas out of 'how to talk so your children will listen...' and this approach seems to be quite effective with both my DS's.

hth

herbgarden Fri 26-Nov-10 22:23:29

My 4.5 year old DS is just like this too - says things like "I'm not very good at this mummy I'm not going to do it " - when doing crafty things,writing or anything really. I like those suggestions acebaby....Funny I remember the other day my sone said he was nervous about something at school and I said "do you know I often feel like that too " and it was clearly quite a revelation to him that it was quite normal and even Mummy feels that way sometimes. He really cheered up !

MrsWattingerInDespair Sat 27-Nov-10 12:20:28

Thanks..

I actually have that How to Talk book but never got chance to read it... will now definately read some this weekend.
Thank you smile

acebaby Sat 27-Nov-10 18:02:14

Good luck smile Do post back about how you get on

girliefriend Sat 27-Nov-10 18:15:38

My dd can be like this at times as well, I tend to try and focus on the positive things she can do and try not to ask too much of her if she is feeling fed up!! Even though she will be 5 next feb I still sometimes help her with things like getting dressed, shoes on etc. Although at times Ive got really frustrated with her over this.

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