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How does everyone deal with negativity?

(4 Posts)
angelstar Sun 03-Jul-11 12:54:49

I'm at a loss as to how to improve self esteem in dd. She is often saying " I'm rubbish/terrible at this or that"
I praise her art work or anything really but she always thinks her work is rubbish. I suggested we try some photography but she said " no, I'm terrible at it"
We haven't ever tried photography before though. I asked her what she thought she was good at and she said " nothing"
She is not depressed and is adamant she s not going back to school.
I'm just not sure how to help her feel like she is good at things and we can do things even if we aren't perfect at them. She is 12 and has brothers and sisters younger than her.

CheerMum Sun 03-Jul-11 13:33:41

my dd had/has low self-esteem. one thing we did was trace around our hands and then we each had to come up with five positive things about ourselves and write one of each finger. We then picked two things we thought we could improve on and wrote those on our palms. we cut them out and stuck them on the wall so we could always see them.

it was very hard for dd to come up with her five and i had to make a couple of suggestions.

is it just her "school" stuff that she thinks she is rubbish at? will she admit to being good at anything at all? when she said she was rubbish at photography did you remind her that she'd never tried it?

will she accept praise from anyone else or is it just you (iyswim).

she may just be being a "normal" teen and having a hormone fuelled moan. is there anything that you think she would enjoy trying, just for fun?

sorry for all the questions, just trying to get a bigger picture x

throckenholt Sun 03-Jul-11 13:48:09

I talk about everything being a learning curve for everyone. Some people find some bits easier to learn than others, but there is no person who can do everything easily. And everyone just has to train their brain by repeating an action until it gets stuck in their brain and then becomes easy. And that goes for everything from learning to walk right through to astrophysics or anything else that seems impossibly hard.

And I talk about not being able to do something perfectly is no reason not to do it - doing it badly can still be fun smile

Small steps and repetition is the only way to train the brain smile So the key is to appreciate the small improvements on the way to the bigger aim. I remind my of all the things they can do now that they couldn't when they were born (eg talking, walking, riding a bike, reading, whatever).

wordsmithsforever Tue 05-Jul-11 15:29:18

Not sure if this will help but this article was mentioned somewhere on mumsnet and I made a note of it. See

Basically the point it makes (backed up by hard scientific research) is that talent is a bit of a myth and that whilst you might have a child who starts off somewhat better at an activity than another, what really counts is practice. I thought to myself that if we could really internalise this and pass this info on to our children it would be so useful. It also makes the point of exactly why praising effort is so much better than praising the outcome.

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