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How to Help my Daughter become More Confident

(7 Posts)
Annex Mon 15-Jun-09 15:03:32

My dd is 8 years old and with her own circle of friends is completely confident but when she is with people she doesn't know too well she is incredibly shy.

I would love to help her become more confident in herself and am not sure what to suggest.

An example of how crippling it can become is this weekend she was at cub camp and she was in a tent with two other girls she didn't know very well. They had to go to the toilet in pairs, so at night if they wanted to go they had to wake another child up to go with them but my dd felt unable to wake up a child she did not know very well so ended up wetting herself in her sleeping bag.

This makes me so sad to think about and I would really welcome any suggestions how I can make her more at ease in different situations.

Sarasue Mon 15-Jun-09 19:39:27

My DD was the same, we enroled her in non contact kickboxing classes at the local gym, she goes with her dad so he is in the room but they work in pairs with people of their own age, she has grown really confident in a short time. Took her first belt last month and passed.

Might be worth a try.

Annex Mon 15-Jun-09 20:36:50

Thanks will look into it - people do say any form of martial arts helps.

I'm glad you've seen a change in your DD

Laugs Mon 15-Jun-09 20:42:36

Poor DD. I remember wetting myself on a camping trip at a similar age, because I was sleeping with my cousins and their parents and didn't want to wake anyone to come with me.

What are her interests? I was painfully shy as a child but, bizarrely, at about 10 asked to go to drama classes. I absolutely loved it. You'd think everyone who enjoys the stage is a natural extrovert, but I think a lot of shy people enjoy the borrowed confidence of taking on a different character, having to speak and act as them, instead of as you.

Is this something she might enjoy?

PlumBumMum Mon 15-Jun-09 20:49:27

My dd 8 can be very shy, but she also goes to modern dance & tap lessons, no-one in her class is from her school etc but this is her 4th year and she has come on leaps and bounds and every week she is starting to tell me a little more about the girls(who all go to school together) in her class.
She will actually ask can she show visitors her dance moves now something she would never do, but it takes time,
your dd went away on a camping weekend I think thats brilliant!
Not sure my dd would go away

supagirl Tue 16-Jun-09 09:26:24


I am having this problem too with eldest who is 10. We went to a friends at the week end and she was really excited about meeting my friends daughter who is the same age......but when we got there and I introduced her she just clung to me and hid her face. She wouldn't even speak. So, the other kids all went off to play and she stayed sitting with me. It breaks my heart because I know she is desperate to join in.

I have tried suggesting ways she can find an "in" such as commenting on someones clothes, or something in the other girl's room that she likes/has (eg Hannah Montana duvet....) and asking what else they have..... but when it comes down to it she just freezes.

Eventually, after about an hour and a half she did skowly start to join in with the other kids but was then really upset when we had to go home.......

I know she really wants to make new friends and I am really keen to help her but she just seems unable to approach anyone outside her "circle". She thinks everyone will think she is a "loser" (her words) sad


Annex Wed 17-Jun-09 07:40:35

Thanks for all the suggestions, glad to hear, in one way, that its not just my daughter.

I have suggested her going to a local judo class but the idea of going somewhere without knowing anyone does feel her with panic.

Dance would not be the answer as my daughter vetoes all things "girly" - she has been like this since about the age of two. She is more confident in the company of boys, she is very good at football but too young to join any of the girl's teams and again none of her girl friends would contemplate playing football.

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