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11 year old boy with very low self esteem :(

(5 Posts)
marie200 Thu 31-Mar-16 09:55:36

Hi, wondered if anyone could give me some advice on how I can help my 11 yr old son? He's a lovely cheeky lad normally, but recently he has been so down on himself, I think he may be heading towards some kind of depression.
He has never been the kind of boy to do any regular exercise, we live in a very small village where there aren't any kids his age. He started to go to football training in January, which he asked if he could start, it wasn't another club I was trying to force him to go to (tried judo, karate, rugby, running club, but he hated them all!). He enjoys it, but a few times he's come home really upset saying he's the slowest, the crappest one at footy, and everyone is so much better than he is. He was in tears last night because he could only run 2 laps and everyone else ran 3. He insists that no one is picking on him (he's well liked by all his peers). He is in no way fat, he has a bit of a belly on him, but he wears clothes age 11, and in amongst his friends, you couldn't pick him out as being the biggest one, he looks like everyone else! He tells me he wants to take a knife to his stomach and cut it off, he hates being 'the fat kid'. I'm at my wits end, no matter what I say or do, it doesn't help. My husband and I regularly take him out to play football, I've offered to go running with him, walks, and any other kind of exercise I can think of, but he refuses, saying he can't run so what's the point?!
This morning really hit me hard - he makes his own packed lunch, and all he put in was a banana, refused to eat breakfast at home or at breakfast club at school. I made the rest of his lunch but he wouldn't let me put it in, and no talking to him helped. Says it's his choice what he eats. I need to help him but I'm unsure how? He won't come to the doctor or health visitor with me. Can anyone offer any advice on how I can deal with this?
Thanks in advance x

GeezeLouiseBelcher Thu 31-Mar-16 10:04:45

I don't know what the right thing to advise is, but if my 11 year old did this, I'd be very worried and upset too. Are you 100% sure no one is picking on him? Is he on social media/YouTube etc? Check there, and also speak to his teacher to see if he/she has noticed anything. If he won't go with you to doctors, can you go anyway for advice?

It's not the same but my ds gets anxiety a lot so I had a mini intervention - took him out for the day, spoiled him a bit, talked about everything worrying him, we made up some strategies ourselves and it did help. My ds wasn't as distressed as yours sounds though. Hopefully someone knowledgeable will come along soon. flowers

SavoyCabbage Thu 31-Mar-16 10:12:31

The fact that he is noticing this for himself and trying to do something about it is a brilliant start to making a change.

I think he will be really surprised and encouraged at how quickly he can change his body and become fitter.

Obviously he's not quite going about it the right way with his banana diet but he's only eleven. He will need help with what to eat and what not to eat. Porridge is a good start to the day. Or eggs. Popcorn is a great snack.

My best friend was in a similar situation when her ds started secondary. She started getting up 15 minutes earlier and they went for a power walk together. That's the only change she made and he started losing weight in the first week. Then they went swimming three times a week. Once to an aqua aerobics class and the other two times he started doing laps against the clock which he really got into.

Is getting him a Fitbit a possibility?

marie200 Thu 31-Mar-16 12:27:12

Thanks very much for your replies - he's not on social media, thankfully, so I don't need to worry about that aspect just yet. I'm pretty sure if anyone was picking on him he would tell me.
I might try and see the health visitor myself, and then try and drag him along if I find it useful (she can be a bit hit or miss with her advice!)
Love the idea of a Fitbit, I can't afford the real deal just now, so have ordered a cheaper one that does pretty much the same thing! Hopefully that will motivate him. Waiting to see if it's any good, if it is, I will order one each for his dad and I, have a competition to see who does the most steps!
It's so hard, I know he's hormonal and anything I say right now is the wrong thing. I just feel like he's far too young to be worrying about his weight, and I don't want to make it even more of an issue sad

SavoyCabbage Thu 31-Mar-16 17:22:31

To me, it sounds like he was embarrassed by not being able to run as far as the others and that has got him thinking he's overweight. Small changes will make a big difference. He will be able to get his fitness up in a really short time as he's a child. And it's the perfect time of year for getting out and about. None of it has to be unpleasant for him.

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