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9-year-old DD with no confidence/low self-esteem

(14 Posts)
ali23 Thu 05-Jan-17 22:52:40

Just that really.
The past few months have been difficult with various friendship issues and my DD, who has always been shy but quietly confident, suddenly seems to be entirely unsure as of her place socially. Things been difficult last few months and, first day back at school today, and she was extremely upset this evening. Some upset due to tiredness I think but also very teary (and not prone to crying usually) that she is not good at anything, has no real talents.

Tried to explain that we all have gifts, some of which we cannot see and that we are very proud of her, but she just kept saying over and over again that she is useless at everything. It is not isolated; for the past few months she has focused on this. She is quiet socially and my own observations of her among her peers is that she is a little lost, although she does have friends as well as a wee best buddy.

She isn't yet into music in any great way and so pop references etc go over her head, and while we have tablets and an Ipad and go on YouTube at home she doesn't have access to Instagram/snapchat that some of her friends do.

She does struggle with sport but tries hard and works at it and the same goes for maths. It all seems to have knocked the stuffing out of her this year. Have other parents found this a tricky age? Trying hard to limit access to social media but wondering if we are isolating her or whether it is just a natural order of trying to work out the behaviour of some of the alpha females and work out where she fits.

Unsure as where to go with. Can anyone recommend a good book? Or practical advice?

user1477282676 Fri 06-Jan-17 08:04:46

I feel so annoyed by the parents who allow NINE year olds access to snapchat and instagram! It is FAR too young and causes all kinds of problems.

You're not wrong to not allow her social media OP. I would actually make an appointment to speak to her teacher about this...ask her about how DD is doing in her or his view...especially socially and talk to the teacher about the social media issue.

I think you will find that they're not all allowed it at this age but yes, it does cause issues.

My DD is 12 and she's just got Instagram...I'd prefer not but there you go...12 seems to be the normal age. 9 is too young.

To build up DD's confidence could you help her to join a club which is not school based? And encourage her to invite her mates over at weekends or after school?

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 06-Jan-17 20:25:15

Was going to post, but user has said everything that I was going to say smile

Millipedewithherfeetup Fri 06-Jan-17 20:29:13

Would also suggest clubs to build her confidence, drama/dance group ?, brownies ?, what does she enjoy ?

oldestmumaintheworld Fri 06-Jan-17 20:30:47

I would strongly recommend Brownies. Each girl is encouraged to find out what they are good at, be part of a team and make friends. Very good in particular for shy/introverted children. And definitely keep her away from social media. She is far too young.

Sittingunderafrostysky Fri 06-Jan-17 20:35:17

What does she enjoy? If she can find her "thing" it may help her build confidence and make friends outside school.

My youngest is a fish out of water with his sporty classmates, but when he's doing his hobbies he is so much more confident, and that has had an impact in school too.

And definitely no social media yet. It will make her feel worse, and she's far far too young to get her head around the social aspects of it.

Chrysanthemum5 Fri 06-Jan-17 20:35:46

Your DD is exactly like mine. In my DDs case it's because of some pretty unkind girls who told her she was useless. I asked for DD to move class and it's helping, but she does still struggle. I've really focused on friendships outside school, going to Brownies etc so DD isn't dependant upon school friendships. It seems to help.

We also got the book 'what to do when you worry too much' which helps DD work through her feelings.

I'll be watching this thread to pick up other ideas!

ali23 Sat 07-Jan-17 00:42:12

Thank you. Yes, did was actually made a sixer at brownies as her pack leader had seen she was a bit low on confidence and it did help a little. She does lots of clubs and loves gymnastics but this is where the initial' not being good enough' chat arose; it is a recreational class but obviously some kids are very good while others are there purely for fun. She is the only one who can't do certain things and it just seems to have been a dripfeed of negativity over last few months.
Hoping to get one-to-one time this weekend and talk her up. She is lovely! Just at an age where she seems to be measuring herself against others x

Unacceptable Sat 07-Jan-17 02:43:46

Ali123 I don't want to highjack thread but my daughter sounds a lot like yours.
In a club but didn't enjoy brownies.
Has a couple of frienimies at school who switch between being lovely and spiteful.

I'm wondering about the social media?
It seems the majority of her classmates are on instagram or snapchat. Their own accounts or siblings.
I don't want dd on but she already feels 'left out' a lot by so called friends at school.
Was not this hard a couple of years ago with her siblings. Now with dds classmates they ALL have either their own phone/ipad/tablet or access to one and most are on the photo media sites.

How to navigate this field without crushing an already unconfident, sweet child?

Note3 Sun 08-Jan-17 08:45:44

I had extremely low self esteem as a child and major shyness. My mum put me into and drama class aged 7 and this gave me and massive boost and I overtime became a confident child. Coincidentally I changed schools at the same age which I think also helped but without doubt drama classes enabled me to grow.

Note3 Sun 08-Jan-17 08:46:50

Sorry phone keeps changing 'a' into 'and'

FOFONAR Sun 08-Jan-17 12:56:32

Op I could have wrote this thread about my 9 yo. Very similar confidence issues caused by spiteful alpha girls and her being lost in the crowd. Doing a sleepover soon with one girl to try and boost her confidence and secure one reliable friendship for her.

Note3 Sun 08-Jan-17 14:01:16

A good tactic is also invite a girl from class for a playdate and have one activity planned which is bound to go down well. The rest of the time they can likely play and what not but if you have something ready like biscuit decorating (bit of icing and sweets) or karaoke set up or some craft ready it will stand out in the girls mind as your DD having a fun home and will help form bonds. My DD doesn't get invited to people's houses often but I swallow the imbalance and still invite the classmates to ours as it's better I do all the legwork to help my DD form friendships than wait for other parents to be less crap!

Everythingstaken Mon 09-Jan-17 11:04:17

My DD is the same age and I can see this happening to her so sadly I have no advise but am reading with interest. One of the things I hear frequently from my DD is how her friends get to do things before her and they are younger than her. This is often social media, gadgets etc. We are also having to deal with her best friend turning into a frenenemy too which is just horrible. Her confidence is slipping away as this 'friend' is so dismissive of everything my Dd has or can do well. It really is a difficult age and I don't think I am dealing with it very well so please oh wise Mumsnetters keep offering us advise!

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