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Best activities for an unconfident child?

(20 Posts)
wewereherefirst Sun 11-Nov-12 22:14:00

DS1 has quite low self esteem, he's a very bright and able boy and does well at school. I would like to get him doing something that's not school related but I don't know what would be best.

Any ideas? He's 6 btw

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 11-Nov-12 22:19:52

Think it entirely depends on who is running the club or activity tbh. My DC go to a local shokotan karate club, which is very well run. They have a focus on enjoyment, self defence and fun and are very caring in their approach.

Their swimming teachers are equally calm and caring.

What interests does he have? How about a gardening club?

Theas18 Sun 11-Nov-12 22:46:34

Doesn't matter what really as long as they love it I think. If they can excel that's brilliant.

If the ideas board is empty I'd go for niche market type activities away from school mates to avoid constant comparing of self.

Maybe st johns ambulance badgers rather than beavers for instance ( though I dunno the age cut off ) and definitely not Saturday morning football clubs - they seem evil. Rugby tots type stuff could be better if he likes getting mucky - its all non contact at this age.

suebfg Sun 11-Nov-12 22:47:10

How about swimming?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 11-Nov-12 22:48:08

DS1 has been going to karate for 2 months and it has done wonders for his self-confidence. It is great for him to have something to focus on outside of school, and to mix with a completely different group of children - and a mixed age range as well.

k2togm1 Sun 11-Nov-12 22:56:52

Drumming or guitar sound perfect for a boy like yours.

wewereherefirst Sun 11-Nov-12 23:04:48

Thank you for your replies, we were looking at martial arts as DH spent a lot of his down time doing it, so I think I shall have to explore that avenue a bit more.

I want to get him swimming more as he can swim well when he has the confidence in him (they have weekly lessons at school), and music is something I hadn't even thought of, he loves music so I'll see what I can do with that one.

He hates getting muddy and mucky so that's probably football and rugby out of it for him, although there's not much choice around here as we're in a fairly small town.

Love the idea of St Johns too. DH went as a teen and he said it was good so I shall see if there's anything like that here.

Thank you again!

inmyheadimthequeen Sun 11-Nov-12 23:12:20

Agree that it's got to be about what he enjoys but FWIW my DS loved Shotokan karate and it made such a difference to him in terms of self/body confidence - took a while but gave (gives) him so much. I did it myself for a while and found that it's quite technical so there's no time to think about how you are coping, just all about keeping up and before you know it you are part of the group and confidence comes without you knowing it.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 12-Nov-12 07:01:36

Oh yes, agree completely about it being something they enjoy, DD asked to go to karate and I think the Shotokan clubs are really good.

At our swimming lessons they get in the water with them and concentrate on building confidence before technique. Perhaps that is something to look for if you choose to go down that route.

If he doesn't like full contact sports, how about Cricket nearer the summer? Our local club starts training again after Christmas.

exoticfruits Mon 12-Nov-12 07:07:30

I always recommend Beavers. The Scout organisation are great at confidence building, life skills and mixing with all.

lljkk Mon 12-Nov-12 08:11:40

Unless your neighbour threatened to beat up your son & his kids are quite active in local Scouts (sigh). We dare not go near local Scouts. Scouts further afield are good, though.

Agree with the consensus that any activity that is social & fun will help. I like martial arts because they involve dealing with & mastering conflict and defeat. But has to be fun first and foremost.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Mon 12-Nov-12 17:11:52

I was going to suggest Beavers, too.

Theas18 Mon 12-Nov-12 23:21:16

We didn't have such good experiences with scouting.... Beavers was fine (dd2was one of the first girls in her pack because her beloved childminder auntie was a helper) but ds was bullied at cubs by the same boys that bullied him at school. The leaders were sympathetic but ultimately useless. Almost identical issues with dd2 as well when she moved up...

Sirzy Tue 13-Nov-12 07:16:19

St John badgers sounds ideal it runs from 5-10 (when they then move to cadets)

I joined St John when I was older than your son but wouldn't say boo to a goose. It made a massive difference to my confidence and 17 years later I am now I am a youth leader.

slartybartfast Tue 13-Nov-12 07:36:03

DRAMA is a good booster, most of it at this young age is teaching self confidence - not necessarilya bout appearing on stage

exoticfruits Tue 13-Nov-12 07:38:56

I think that the problem was that it was the same boys as at school, Theas18, and if it was an ongoing problem that the school had failed to solve, despite them supposedly having an anti bullying policy, the Scouts couldn't do much in only 2 hours a week.
However, since there is no mention of bullying in OP, I would think that Beavers would be great for self esteem.
I know a very similar DS and he took up kayaking and became very good at it- so it did wonders for him and he was with DCs that he had never met before. If you want to avoid certain DCs then you won't do it at a local Beaver group.

iseenodust Wed 14-Nov-12 14:45:11

I think anything fun that brings about another group of friends. Cricket is excellent at this age because they all take turns to do everything for the same number of goes. DS loves tennis at our local club. Youngsters are taught in small squads on smaller courts by older teenagers so there's a lot of big brother type joshing goes on in a safe way.

Am coming to the view most of what could be good about cubs schools now provide. Think about others, charity activities, camps away, care for the environment and then more female leaders and church.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 14-Nov-12 14:57:38

My DS goes to Cubs and did go to Beavers but I didn't recommend it as some of his less confident friends have started and then stopped going as they didn't like it. Also, our Beavers and Cubs seem to spend a bit of time doing contact sports such as football, so maybe not quite your DSs cup of tea.

exoticfruits Wed 14-Nov-12 17:21:22

Beaver and Cub meetings depend entirely on the leaders-as does anything.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 14-Nov-12 19:49:38

Agree totally exotic. Both of his leaders have been really kind and caring but favour contact sports, which just didn't seem to suit a couple of DS' friends.

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