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How can I build my sons confidence

(15 Posts)
WoahBodyforrrrm Sat 02-May-15 21:07:32

Can anyone help with suggestions on how to build my almost 8yo DS's confidence?

I think he hasn't quite found his place in the world yet and his confidence is already being affected and it really worries me how bad it may get in the future.

He struggles academically at school (undiagnosed but the school believe he's dyslexic and dyspraxic) He's not sporty and unfortunately his class of (21 boys) are hugely into football and he gets comments made about being the worst in the class at football etc as some kids do.

He's very gentle and kind hearted (his younger brother is completely the opposite, he's rough and ready.)

I've noticed his confidence being worn down and he's beginning to make comments about himself that make my heart break for him.

He really is a lovely child and I want to help him see that but don't know where to start!

RabbitSaysWoof Sat 02-May-15 21:52:26

I would think of outside of school activities, maybe drama/ cubs/ swimming lessons.
Knowing more people increases the chances he will click with someone, and there is more pressure to be good at something or accepted within a school group because you just cant break away from them if it's not your thing.

Barbadosgirl Sun 03-May-15 08:26:58

This was my husband 40 years ago. Undiagnosed dyslexic, overbearing parents who tried to bully him to academic success and a gentle nature. He then discovered music and it gave him a social life, an interest and something he was good at. To this day, he is never more confident than when speaking about music. Your son might find his "music" in an after school or weekend activity.

ChoudeBruxelles Sun 03-May-15 08:31:06

This is my ds (although he's fine academically). Hates football, very gentle and sensitive. He's discovered the clarinet and has started climbing. We've tried lots of activities and nothing really clicked before. I'd let your son try lots of things. Also we've tried to foster some friendships by having friends home for tea etc

tattychicken Sun 03-May-15 08:33:44

My 6 year old son really struggled with his confidence. Still does, but a real breakthrough was starting Beavers. He found it hard the first few weeks, but then just blossomed.He's made friends, earned a few badges and seems to have grown in stature. I can really recommend it.

WoahBodyforrrrm Sun 03-May-15 08:40:37

The music sounds like a good suggestion. I may put it to him and see if he fancies giving anything a try!

We have tried lots of after school activities like swimming (a struggle with his dyspraxia) football, dodgeball, gymnastics, tennis, street dance and so on. He does go to beavers which he enjoys and I think will be good for him moving up through the years.

I think you may be on to something there choude about fostering friendships. When he was in reception I was having a rocky pregnancy with twins, alongside having another very young DS2. DS1 was 4 and DS2 was 16months when the twins were born so I definitely feel guilty that for the last few years I have been too busy/stressed to invite children round. My OH works long hours and six days a week so I'd have to do it all on my own which is a struggle enough most days just with my own kids. But I am going to make an effort now the weathers getting better to invite people round for his sake!

Kampeki Sun 03-May-15 08:41:37

Bless him. He needs to find his niche, I think. I agree that it might be good to try different sorts of extra-curricular activity until he finds something that he is good at.

When he does stuff, praise him for the effort that he puts in, and not the outcome. You don't want him to be too fixated on "performance".

You said that he is particularly kind hearted. Think about ways in which you can play to this as a strength. Make sure he knows that kindness and empathy are among his talents.

If the school thinks he is dyslexic and/or dyspraxic, what are they doing to support him with this? Is he going to be formally assessed? The right support needs putting into place - it could make a huge difference to him.

Could you also share your concerns with his teacher about his lack of confidence? Perhaps the school could do something to boost his self esteem - they could give him some sort of special responsibility or something.

Good luck!

Heels99 Sun 03-May-15 08:41:40

Drama classes are brilliant.
Why hasn't he been diagnosed I would definitely get that resolved!

Chips1999 Sun 03-May-15 08:45:13

No advice as everyone's said it but you sound like a lovely caring mum smile

ForgotThatIWasFine Sun 03-May-15 08:50:05

Animal care is a good option too, my son sounds fairly similar and he goes to 'pony days' during the holidays where he gets to be responsible for a pony for the day and look after it. He gets to really be himself and make the most of his caring side.

What sort of things are you saying to him when he tells you he's getting stick from other children? Just asking so I don't reel off a load of stuff you've already tried!

It's so upsetting when your.child goes through this. I was not prepared for any of it, I thought being a parent would get easier as they get older!

Pancakeflipper Sun 03-May-15 08:51:19

My DS1 is now 10. He has confidence issues. In his case he is also shy. At the moment he's ok.
This is because he's beginning to find out what he's good at.

I would make sure you son tries lots of things especially more niche interests.
My son is in a year group of ' footballers' and he joined the clubs when younger but hated football. He felt left out.

For him it's the scouting movement, interest in going to see racing cars (with his dad) climbing, swimming and cycling that he's good at and loving and there's a huge difference in him. He's so busy and happy that he's a delight to spend time with. He is still very shy but better.

Try music/languages/choirs/drama groups/computers/cooking/art etc.

It's horrible seeing them so low thinking that their peer group is having a blast. But everyone is good at something - it's just finding what it is that will grab their attention. It doesn't matter if they are not the best at it but if they enjoy it they shine.

I hope you find what he will love soon.

WoahBodyforrrrm Sun 03-May-15 20:13:49

Thank you chips that's very sweet of you!

I've been fighting a losing battle with the school since he was in yr1 when they first mentioned dyslexia and dyspraxia. He has been referred to an occupational therapist and has had some sessions with the OT (but no official diagnosis) focussing on improving his motor skills. They've made some recommendations to the school like a special ergonomic pencil, a special wedge cushion to help him to sit still which have both helped. They also suggested he uses a word processor for creative writing as he has great ideas but can't get them down on paper, but it's been a year since this was first suggested and they still haven't actioned it. I was in to his teacher only last week asking when it will be happening. I think I need to be more assertive.

With the dyslexia, his teachers and Senco have told me they teach in a 'dyslexic friendly manner' meaning he will not get any additional help if he does get officially diagnosed. The school won't pay for the test for this reason. We are prepared to pay the £900 (we are in London) for the educational psychologist ourselves but think what's the point if the school aren't going to do anything with an official diagnosis anyway angry

I will mention his lack of confidence to his teacher kampeki, that's a good idea.

I love the idea of animal care Forgot that's a lovely idea, and I'm sure he'd absolutely love it, I'm going to look into that! In regards to what I say to him when he tells me about other children being unkind, I've tried saying ignore them, stay away from them, I've even told him to say something mean back because it made me so mad. He refused to though.

I'm glad your sons confidence is beginning to improve pancake My son loves beavers and i hope he continues to stick with it as time goes on.

Thank you all for your kind words and ideas, I really appreciate it!

FadedRed123 Sun 03-May-15 20:23:52

Have you thought of horse riding? - especially if you have a local school that also does riding for disabled people, as they will have ponies and horses and tutors used to rides with additional needs. It's brilliant for building confidence and helps with balance. It also builds a relationship with sensitive (but big) animals which really helps children with their confidence.

FadedRed123 Sun 03-May-15 20:24:53

riders not rides

momtothree Sun 03-May-15 20:31:53

No dont be mean back. Teach him to say `thats not nice` `you`re being horrid` or what ever it draws the attention to the child`s remarks. Touch typing is good - try free internet programs -

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